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Are on site control rooms a thing of the past?


The rapid advancement of technology in the last two decades has allowed security providers to build state of the art control rooms in a centralised location. The benefits of this natural progression to buyers of security services are threefold.

The first emanates from the very design of new premises. If you are able to remove the control room as a factor of your design, then the immediate benefit can be found in the lower design and build costs once this is taken out of the equation. On a much broader level however, the removal of the necessity for an onsite control room might also give some freedom to designers or architects by removing a component that can have a significant impact on the way the rest of the building is designed. This can also work in the opposite way. Many modern buildings will include control rooms as an afterthought, meaning their effectiveness maybe somewhat diluted. Indeed, many control rooms that are installed at a buildings inception, will fail to adapt to changes that can occur in a relatively short period of time.

The second benefit to the consumer of security services of an offsite control room refers to the ability to continue to develop in terms of technology. Where an onsite control might require continuous capital expenditure to make sure all the relevant technology is kept up to date, a security provider which is servicing thousands of customers can continue to adapt their control suite in line with developments in technology at a lower relative cost. This stands to reason when you consider the human factor. A professional and dedicated control centre team might be more qualified to deal with complex emergency situations in a variety of contexts when compared to the possibly limited experience of a control room operator based in one building.

Finally, the idea that some of the risk is that negated by removing the control area from your building certainly does hold some weight. Should your premises be compromised by any number of security threats, the ability to refer to an external location for all the security requirements of the building must be re-assuring. In essence it dilutes the threat of all systems, resources and assets being lost when your building faces a significant threat to its security.

Bob Forsyth, Managing Director at MITIE, has been outspoken in promoting off site technology centres which can not only act as a central control room, but also a hub for screening and vetting procedures. He says: 

“In the main, I believe that on-site control rooms will eventually become a thing of the past. It’s a natural progression for organisations to have all signals and alerts managed in one place using the most up-to-date technology. This is a clear advancement for our industry and is an evolution that will drive integration.”

Published on Tue, 28 May 2013 (10:18am)
About GSL Dardan: We employ over 500 licenced security guards throughout Norfolk , Suffolk , Cambridgeshire and Aberdeenshire. In addition we operate 17 security patrol and response vehicles from our offices in Norwich , Ipswich , Peterborough , Cambridge , Great Yarmouth , Lowestoft , Kings Lynn and Leiston.