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  • Larissa Ifri

Safety and Security, Meet Smart Buildings!

This article was written by Jodi Larter, an affiliate of Cisco Systems.


The world is changing—how we work and where we work has evolved dramatically over recent years, an evolution supported by technology and the new ways in which we can perform job responsibilities.


These new approaches to our work life, such as the here-to-stay hybrid work model, offer an opportunity to reimagine what’s possible and provide new smarter outcomes, including a demonstrable return on technology investment and a future-thinking look at facility management.



The future of facilities: buildings, experiences, and physical security


The way facilities managers deliver safe working environments and manage the facilities themselves is also changing. Long gone are the days of purchasing a video surveillance system as an insurance policy only to revisit it during a trigger event or viewing its use as being solely to protect and secure. In today’s world of flux and change, it’s vital to think beyond what video surveillance has done historically for facilities and instead to the future of what modernized technology can bring to physical safety and security.

Now is the time to start asking yourself:

  • Can this technology fit a dual purpose to meet objectives of sustainability?

  • Can it provide data to make decisions around real estate planning and space utilization?

  • How am I evolving and adapting physical security technology and delivering more cost savings and efficiency to the facilities I manage?

One answer to these questions exists in the concept of a smart building. A vision that many facilities leaders are now seeing more clearly for its advantages, especially in regards to physical security.


What is a smart building?


A smart building is a multifaceted concept that goes well beyond safety, security, and physical shelter. Physical security is a basic tenet for a facilities leader, but building management has evolved. Smart buildings are the foundation of the experiences they host for the occupants as buildings have morphed into places for collaboration, learning, socialization, and innovation. With the right digital technologies, facility leaders can achieve three goals by creating smarter buildings:

  • Reduction of operational costs

  • Improvement of overall operational effectiveness

  • Maximization of occupant experiences

A cloud-first foundation


A recent study conducted by Cascade Insights found that many facilities leaders from various industries—including retail, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing—were adding labor hours to manage their video surveillance systems and respond to security incidents across locations.


By migrating video surveillance to a cloud-first model, Facilities teams can operate more efficiently and strategically by cutting down on repair and travel time, thus cutting costs.

This is just one example of how a smart building approach to facilities management and physical security can provide improved experiences compared with traditional security.

Thinking smarter (and bigger) with your IoT

  • Physical security goes beyond external threats; 48% of HR professionals have witnessed workplace security incidents which could be mitigated by smarter uses of video surveillance

  • IoT could generate $1.2 trillion worldwide through improved productivity

  • Video data can be used to increase retail sales by 30% by analyzing customer traffic

A building equipped with intelligent devices, such as smart cameras and sensors, can provide a real-time view of operations across the entire organization, something that isn’t possible with legacy infrastructure, on-premises video cameras, and disparate sensor technologies.


To learn how Cisco Meraki is helping facilities teams create smarter spaces, download our whitepaper.

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