Contributed by Frank Pietrobono, SVP of Sales, RSPNDR, email@example.com
Without a doubt, the electronic security industry is experiencing significant digital disruption.
New technologies are replacing the manual processes that have supported the security industry over the past 50 years. These technologies strive to correct long-standing pain points, build better products, enhance user experience, and support our businesses in a tech-driven era.
Like most industries, one technology has fueled innovation in security and monitoring: SaaS or sometimes referred to as Cloud Computing. But how? In this article, we break down what SaaS means and how it is changing our industry.
What is SaaS
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is cloud-based software delivered to users over the internet, most commonly through a website or mobile application. SaaS is one of three cloud-based delivery models; the other two are PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Some of North America’s largest SaaS companies are Adobe, Salesforce, Google, and Amazon.
The benefits of SaaS
Traditional digital tools are paid for upfront and hosted onsite via company servers. SaaS technology, on the other hand, exists “in the cloud”, and is paid for with a monthly or annual subscription. SaaS, therefore, equips businesses with powerful technology without them needing to invest in on-premise hardware. Not only does this reduce set-up costs and free up office space (decreasing their commercial footprint), but it also eliminates the need for additional staff on-site for maintenance and troubleshooting.
Ultimately, adopting cloud-based software means businesses can spend less money on servers, server rooms, and server support, and instead channel these resources into their core business needs.
How SaaS is changing security and monitoring
Security and monitoring have not always been at the forefront of innovation. But we’re now seeing SaaS more widely adopted in a variety of business capacities. Some SaaS technology changing the game include:
- Remote video monitoring
- AI-based video analytics
- Access control or card access
- Intrusion detection
SaaS adoption in the security and monitoring space means a redistribution of power. While historically a few well-established companies have dominated the marketplace, SaaS has enabled small and mid-sized businesses – as well as emerging startups – to reduce costs while remaining agile to meet consumer needs. This is because, as mentioned, SaaS removes the capital costs associated with acquiring servers and data centre space, which most companies find to be a barrier to entry and expansion.
SaaS can also help protect security and monitoring companies from cyber threats.
Technology is evolving at such a rate that it’s nearly impossible for most people to keep track of what cybersecurity is required to protect themselves against hackers. In a company setting, software upgrades, correctly configured firewalls, and security infrastructure are all essential to protecting a business. If a business hosts their software itself, it is their responsibility to ensure it is up to date. However with SaaS technology, upgrades happen automatically. A security breach could be catastrophic for a small company, and while cloud-based systems can still get hacked, SaaS providers have the experts, capital, and best-in-class mitigation policies in place to continuously protect you from cyberthreats.
The future of SaaS
Since COVID-19 began, SaaS has revolutionized the workplace, making most business operations transition seamlessly from in-office to remote, and delivering a new era of hybrid work. With the undeniable benefits of cloud-based software, it’s no surprise that SaaS will play an increasingly crucial role for years to come.
Most security and monitoring stations use some form of SaaS technology. For instance, SaaS is used as a backup in case servers go down. However, we predict that soon all businesses will become SaaS-led. And not just businesses! In the not-so-distant future, homes will also be completely managed by a SaaS solution, and the security and monitoring products that dominate the market today will simply integrate into the home’s solution of choice.
SaaS is also driving innovation in other technologies, particularly artificial intelligence and machine learning. SaaS leverages AI/ML to understand their customers, continuously improve their products, and create more targeted, personalized experiences for the end user. For B2B SaaS customers, this means more data and analytics that help to predict the behavior of the end user. And as consumers grow to rely on this degree of personalization and demand more, SaaS investment in AI/ML will increase.
Given the complexities of today’s technology, no company can “do it all.” RSPNDR is the only automated alarm response SaaS platform in the market, but we use other SaaS technologies to power our business. Without SaaS, we would not have had the resources to scale across different countries, operate more efficiently, and with fewer costs.
We are not alone. SaaS has created a more sophisticated, tech-driven security and monitoring sector, with small and mid-sized companies now competing with big industry players. More broadly, SaaS is driving innovation in hybrid working, AI/ML, and cybersecurity, and we in the security industry are enjoying the benefits of this innovation. Which is music to our ears, because if one thing is for sure, SaaS is here to stay.