You might have heard the words converged technology muttered in certain circles, but it isn’t the mysterious concept it seems. In fact, you’re likely already using some sort of converged technology on a daily basis and know its benefits first-hand without even realising it.
Already popular in consumer goods, converged technologies are now creeping into commercial spheres, the greatest sector being security. Here’s why.
What is converged technology?
To converge technology is to unite two or more technologies into a single offering, creating a product or service with a better use case.
While the phrases converged technology and converged innovation are often brought up in conversation, these terms are just buzzwords to essentially mean doing more with less. As technologies integrate, they form a more efficient, comprehensive product.
Converged technologies for consumers
This unification is commonly seen in consumer technology, with the most popular example being the smartphone. Much more than a functioning phone to call and instant message others, the smartphone has converged with many forms of technology to become an all-knowing device able to answer questions, offer facial recognition and integrate with applications on every imaginable subject.
Smartwatches do a similar thing. They allow us to check health stats, such as steps walked or calories burned and tell the time. Similarly, smart TVs now also allow us to surf the web while watching our favourite shows.
The benefits of converged technology for business users
While converged technology proves a novelty to consumers and provides a reason for a greater initial investment, it can bring real business benefits when used in a corporate setting.
For example, converged IP networks cost less to manage and are more cost-effective. Other examples of converged technologies can create tremendous efficiencies for operations, changing the face of how a business functions.
The limitations of an all-in-one approach
That isn’t to say converged technologies don’t have their own unique challenges. They pose a substantial data storage risk as different functionalities are housed in one place, meaning more data is stored in a single location. For modern businesses using such systems, they’ll need to be more clued up on how to protect their cloud and where to source the right technology, ensuring it’s reputable and never counterfeit.
Despite these difficulties, the rise in converged technologies across various B2B industries is driven by cost, risk appetite and impressive advancements in AI and machine learning. Everybody wants a centralised solution — this is exactly what converged technology offers.
Converged technology in security
One of the main industries trialling converged technology and feeling its advantages in full force is security. As converged technology can bring virtual and physical worlds together, it’s the perfect solution for organisations with cybersecurity and physical security needs.
Yet, it also gives security types in their own right a more streamlined approach to their respective task, introducing efficiencies wherever possible.
As converged technology becomes more and more conventional, organisations expect the people side of security to be even more extensive. In many cases, companies want physical security guards to perform various tasks aside from their foundational security responsibilities.
Now, security guards can double up as a concierge, a receptionist or even part of the sales team, acting as the first point of contact for any questions or problems a visitor might have.
Taking on this secondary role might indeed enhance the security presence, ensuring security guards can keep a closer eye on suspicious activity and behaviour. Doing so can also quell any worries a client or visitor might have about a physical security guard as they can see them as more of a friendly service persona than an intimidating individual.
The complexity of information security and its role in practically every part of a business makes it a great candidate for convergence.
Even if this isn’t necessarily a technology, this could be converging regulatory standards or industry standards to streamline advice and create compliance efficiencies. This is something we’re already seeing take place in specific legislation, including Cyber Essentials ISO27001 and the new government standard, GovS007-Security-Standards.
From a technology perspective, network perimeter defences are becoming much more overarching. Where users would once have multiple applications to protect it, now you only need two or three to cover everything comfortably. Things such as intruder detection systems (IDS), next-gen firewalls and the latest data loss prevention (DLP) analytics create a comprehensive setup without the need for anything else.
Lastly, surveillance security, which has always been led by technology, is seeing many fast developments in terms of convergence technology.
The development of CCTV analytics over the past five years has taken CCTV systems to an entirely new level. While CCTV surveillance cameras will always focus on detecting and deterring crime, they can now also fulfil a much broader brief, providing context for the workplace, workflow management and more niche activities such as temperature analysis.
More recently, we’ve seen AI-powered CCTV cameras used as a form of multi-factor authentication for visitors to gain access control. This works by the system recognising a face at a turnstile to trigger another action such as activating a key fob or a door unlocking.
Why use converged technology?
Ultimately, converged technology enriches lives by making tasks easier to complete while giving us more opportunities to gain insight into that area.
In security, it’s particularly effective in creating an optimised security infrastructure, allowing us to do more with less and solve public perception along the way. In doing so, security technology can benefit wider business objectives, creating better buy-in from your team.
Although security technology will always aim to aid a safe, secure environment first, it can now assist in supporting health and safety objectives, play a part in lowering insurance overheads and identify workplace management gaps.
So long as you’re considerate of data privacy and risk-assess the impact of new technologies, there really are no downsides to giving converged technology a go.
Learn more about converged technology from the experts
The opportunities in converged technology are endless, especially when it comes to security. That’s why it’s taking over the industry, appearing in countless articles and becoming the subject of major industry events.
If you want to learn about converged technology and introduce it to your team, it isn’t hard to find out more information.
However, you might want to find out about converged technologies in the context of your business and see if these types of security solutions can work for you. If that’s the case, reach out to Kingdom Security’s in-house experts and book a friendly consultation call. Just click the link below.