How can cloud physical security support the sustainability agenda?

Apr 20, 2022

It is generally agreed that the way we live and work is no longer sustainable and unless we address the most critical environmental issues, we face imminent crisis. Many businesses will now be looking to make immediate changes as an easing of Covid travel restrictions, combined with the crisis in Ukraine, drives the price of fuel to record highs, while energy bills also continue to soar.

It is here that technology, in particular cloud infrastructure and systems, can support transformative goals. Cloud, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have the capability to offer insights and intelligence to help people live better and work more efficiently. Might cloud now hold the key to smarter, greener operations, unlocking a sustainable competitive advantage?

Adopt a greener cloud strategy

As the UNs Race to Zero campaign encourages businesses to commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, taking steps to shift to a greener agenda will be viewed favourably by end customers who are increasingly committing to do the same. For the physical security business seeking to demonstrate its net-zero carbon credentials, the cloud represents a greener alternative to legacy systems:

1. Newer energy-efficient technologies: The use of innovations such as edge-based processing can lead to efficiencies not possible with legacy systems. The extra bandwidth and related energy required to send data constantly back and forth across a network is avoided when processing takes place at the edge of the network on the device itself.

2. Cleaner and greener data storage: Rather than multiple organisations managing separate systems in server rooms on-premises, the shift to cloud centralises data storage into a data centre with all the economies of scale that this entails; a greener solution saving businesses time, money and energy

3. Energy recycling: The data centres themselves are also constantly striving to find their own efficiencies. These are already evident at some sites and include the re-use of heat energy given off by servers to heat office space and use of natural elements, such as cold flowing water to cool and regulate systems

4. Move away from legacy technologies: Cloud’s green credentials mean that consumption patterns can be changed to benefit the environment rather than damage it's Cloud-enabled devices and systems can be simply upgraded and updated, moving away from the ‘rip and replace’ approach which is common when removing and fitting legacy architecture.

    Use intelligent systems to drive down costs

    Shifting to the cloud can deliver significant cost savings and facilitate scalability to meet evolving business needs. Cloud physical security solutions, VSaaS and ACaaS, provide comprehensive security while also offering additional insights through data collection and analysis, resulting in operational benefits. For example, data about the movement of people around a site can be used to automate heating and lighting according to demand, subsequently reducing waste.

    In addition, physical security solutions hosted in the cloud open up the possibility for remote maintenance. This will reduce technicians’ travel costs and improve productivity, therefore making maintenance much more cost effective. This, in turn, represents value for money for the customer with far quicker response times.

    Review your supply chain based on green credentials

    With increased impetus to operate sustainably, those businesses that do not take their environmental responsibilities seriously may find themselves left behind as others around them work hard to meet sustainability targets and look for similar commitment from stakeholders across their supply chain.

    Within the physical security industry this translates into seeking to partner with those who advocate more ethical ways of operating and have an awareness of the implications that business actions can have on the environment. A simple action, such as taking the decision to move towards the use of components and technologies that are ethically sourced, can make a very immediate difference.

    Cloud technologies provided by businesses with a strong commitment to sustainable principles look set to play an important role in transforming and enhancing security and business operations in the journey towards a greener future.

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