It’s a question that many businesses struggle with as they look to improve their security: is it better to get live security guards or a virtual guard solution? The traditional method has simply been to go through a security guard service and use real human guards on-premise. Surveillance systems did have their place, but most businesses felt they couldn’t rely on them. Technology, however, has changed drastically in the past decade, and virtual guards are becoming commonplace as surveillance systems have advanced. If you’re still debating over the benefits of using security guard services compared to the benefits of surveillance systems, you’ll find that virtual guards have much more to offer and leave your premises safer than ever before.
The Reliability of Virtual Guards
We all know the cliche of the sleeping security guard. He sits in a little booth at the entrance to the facility, his feet propped up on a desk, a television monitor nearby displaying colored bars. The criminals are able to sneak past easily, making sure not to wake him up. Perhaps this scenario is a little embellished by Hollywood, but the idea remains the same: live security guards may not be the most reliable. They are, after all, human. When working a graveyard shift, live guards can have their focus drift. They may forget to check a certain part of the building. Some may even call in sick at the last minute, sending you scrambling to find a replacement. All of this doesn’t even take into account what happens when a guard decides to take a bit of a break. Reliability, in other words, can become a problem.
Virtual guards, however, don’t have this reliability issue. Once the system is installed, as long as it is maintained and observed, it will always be present at all hours of the day. Virtual guards don’t take time off, don’t call in sick, don’t show up late, and don’t get distracted by their surroundings. Even better, the technology behind virtual guards can see better in the dark and notice details that the human eye may miss. Virtual guards are simply more reliable and effective.
The Affordability of Virtual Guards
When hiring a flesh-and-blood security guard, numerous costs have to be taken into account. The most obvious is the wages you need to pay. Numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the average annual wage for a security guard is just under $30,000 every year. The more experienced (and by extension more effective) guards are even pricier, costing as much as $100 per hour. But that’s not the only expense you’ll need to worry about. Live guards need to be trained, and they also need the proper equipment to perform their jobs. And if you want to arm them in order to handle the most dangerous situations, that will cost even more.
In a time where businesses are trying to find ways to cut costs and stay within budget, virtual guards simply make the most sense. After the initial installation fee, surveillance systems are relatively cheap to run, sometimes costing as much as half the hourly price it would cost to hire a live guard. And considering, as mentioned before, that virtual guards don’t take a single moment off, that’s a price businesses are more than willing to pay to ensure their premises are always secure.
The Wider Coverage of Virtual Guards
Even the most effective security guards can’t keep an eye on every single room at all times. They can only be in one place at one time, and while they may try to concentrate their attention on the most problematic areas, they can still miss spots. While some of this problem may be dealt with by hiring a team of guards from security guard companies, the cost of such an expenditure once again comes into the picture.
If you choose to replace security guards with virtual guards, you’ll quickly find that no area in your building or on your property is left unwatched. Virtual guards allow you to see more at one time, and thanks to advances in video analytics software, they can send out alerts the moment a problem is detected. Some businesses may be concerned that they’ll need to purchase a lot of virtual guard units in order to cover all of their premises, but the units can be placed to monitor the most important areas instead. This includes entrances and exits along with choke points that will likely be used by intruders.
The Safety of Virtual Guards
If a situation arises, security guards will need to respond, and that can place them in harm’s way. It’s a scenario that businesses want to avoid, but that may be impossible if security guards want to do their job well. The dangers involved are just part of their employment.
Virtual guards can avoid this situation, though. By the very definition, virtual guards are operated remotely. If a person is observing them, they don’t even need to be in the same building and can assess if actions need to take place from a safe area. Today’s latest surveillance technology uses automated processes to detect threats and send alerts all on its own, requiring no human operation at all. That means people are kept out of dangerous situations completely.
While many businesses may feel more comfortable using security guards, virtual guards simply don’t have the same limitations. Virtual guards provide more effectiveness and reliability at a low cost, while promoting wider coverage and improved safety. They don’t just represent the future of security technology; they represent the best of today’s security practices.