IT and Loss Prevention: A Winning Duo for Retail

Thursday, June 25, 2015 by under Asset Protection, Intrusion/Fire Protection, Managed Network Services, Monitoring, Video Surveillance

Many retailers are transitioning from older security technologies (e.g. CCTV and telephone-line based alarms) to network-connected options (e.g. IP video and alarms). Yet, these loss prevention (LP) system implementations must be done in conjunction with the IT team to ensure utmost quality and security.

If performed in a vacuum, retailers run the risk of ill-prepared network infrastructures, silod data and escalated costs. Outlined below are four benefits of working with IT on your LP tech plan.

1. Improved System Quality

Available network bandwidth will have a direct impact on end-user quality, particularly for IP video. Your IT team can help you define the required network infrastructure to achieve desired frame rates, compression and resolution. These upfront conversations ensure final video quality is on par with expectations and meets image usability requirements.

Conversely, if improperly planned for, LP technologies can slow down other critical applications on your network, like your point of sale (POS) system. A secondary network may be recommended to deploy non-critical applications, like IP video, to limit interference and ensure quality across implementations.

2. Enhanced Security

Every component of an IP-based systems must be hardened against network and data attacks, including edge devices, switches, building management systems (BMS) and the PC/appliance you log into. If left unsecure, retailers risk unauthorized access, exposure to malware and viruses, and information leaks.

Your IT team is well versed in protecting your business’ critical information online via firewalls, data encryption, anti-virus software and access control solutions. Systems also must be actively managed via ongoing, proactive monitoring and maintenance, an area IT can support.

3. Cross-Departmental Analytics

There is great organizational value in the data collected by LP technologies, from in-store traffic behaviors to timeliness of management functions. If installed in a silo, however, this information may not get properly passed on to other departments. Work with IT to connect captured data with that of marketing, sales and operations for true business visibility.

4. Reduced Costs

If each department within your organization works separtately to install technologies, then the odds of unneccesary and duplicate equipment increases. Your IT team can you help you identify opportunities to share infrastructure, and thereby reduce overall implementation costs. For example, you may be able to migrate security devices onto existing switch gear.

Relatedly, IT collaboration can reduce installation schedule delays, unsatisfied end users and costly network downtime—all of which negatively impact the bottom line.

A strong working relationship between LP and IT keeps systems running smoothly, reliably, securely and to maximum value. For more on collaboration benefits, read our whitepaper, “LP Meets IT for Complete Managed Business Infrastructure, Security and Intelligence.”

How do you encourage collaboration? Share your tips with us in the comments below!

Image Source: Sonia Belviso 

 

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