By Rahul Sarkar
Apartment Security: A Right Mix of Technology and Human Touch
By Rahul Sarkar
Humans are and will always be species of habit. Once we learn how to do something, we’re likely to keep doing it the same way over and over again. That is until something new comes along and challenges us to change, and that thing is most commonly some new technology. Security at apartments is no different to this habit. For long, security at gated premises have followed the traditional, outdated system of pen and registers without the intervention of technology.
There are some experts who argue that technology has the potential to completely replace manned guarding at apartment. However, the truth is, the two need each other for best results. Thanks to technology, security guards are able to do far more than ever before. But you still need actual people as guards. Technology can’t substitute them, but it does compliment them well for a well-rounded security strategy.
Current scenarios and challenges
Recent incidents at gated communities have led to newfound concerns among facility managers and residents — forcing many to relook if their current security measures are in place. And, this is fairly so. Just like no city is immune, no community is either. This fear and real risk affects every type of building — residential, commercial, and institutional facilities alike.
At the same time, the costs of security personnel, which typically comprise the largest portion of a security budget, continue to rise, thus putting pressure on finding new ways of reducing these costs. The need for increased security and the desire by apartments to reduce personnel costs for an operational guard force have struck to create the perfect security conundrum. And this puzzle could actually threaten the safety of those living in these communities.
Given the recent developments in apartment security technology — specifically the ability of physical infrastructures to perform or assist traditional guard functions, many residents and facility managers look at increasing their use as the only possible solution.
Like everything in life, moderation and equilibrium are key to a robust security infrastructure. Hence, there is the security triangle — a well thought combination of Physical (locked doors, window bars, etc.), Operational (on-site guards), and Systems (security technology). Each community manager needs to determine his or her percentages based on their own distinct threats, risks, and budget.
MyGate has a simple and elegant solution for this problem. The solution is simple because we leverage something that everyone uses on a daily basis — a smartphone. The app has been designed and thought out in a way that it handles a lot of potential high risk security scenarios very easily. And the best part is that there is no huge capital investment or high maintenance required for the communities to get on board with the app.
It is a simple app with two ends, one end is with the security guard at the gate. Let’s consider a scenario where you get a visitor, who wants to come to your home. The guard enters the details and purpose of visit of the visitor into the MyGate app. The other end of the app, the user interface, is with the residents. They get a notification when the visitor arrives and they can approve or reject the visitor’s entry into the community. What they get is initially a notification that asks them to perform the right call to action, if they do not respond to this notification in the scheduled time period, they get a phone call that gives them an IVR interface to approve or reject the entry. This is simple and works seamlessly.
Compared to the traditional means of handling security at gated communities via registers and landline telecom, MyGate has automated and digitised all the tasks at the gate for the security. Moreover, the system is interactive and provides real time information of all the activities at the gate concerning each flat. MyGate lets the resident authorise, validate and manage all the visitors, from daily helps, visitors to delivery personnel and cabs.
Some product features of MyGate include: real time domestic help management, instant security alert, automated guest authentication, e-intercom for visitor authentication, complete attendance management system, digital validation of all staff and residents, multi-tiered access system.
Technology has come a long way in the past decade, but it has not replaced the role of the security guard. It is a useful tool to help security guards be more thorough in their role. No two communities have the same needs in terms of security, some may favour manned guards while others might use technological substitutes. However, most will find what works for their gated community is the perfect blend of manned guarding and technology. This provides the benefits of both in terms of effective security and alerts, cost savings and a human presence.
What do you think about technology in the apartment security industry? Let us know in the comments section below.