It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for security budgets.
According to a poll Circadian Risk took in May, last year security budgets were raised almost universally in an effort to respond to the pandemic and the resulting security officer shortage. More than half of those increases went to higher wages for security personnel. Unfortunately, the higher budgets didn’t seem to produce a payoff — organizations still saw poor service, high turnover, and as many open posts as they had before the wage hike. Faced with the same old problems, 70% of CSOs told us back in spring that they were dealing with budget cuts.
So what does that mean for 2023 security budgets? Probably not huge budget increases, but fortunately, we probably won’t be seeing large cuts either. While yes, decision makers are frustrated with the performance of security personnel during the pandemic, COVID also means companies are playing catch–up when it comes to compliance.
The good news is that security budgets seem to be leveling off.
A renewed focus on audits
With fewer people actually working on-site in the past couple of years, many organizations are past-due when it comes to inspections and compliance.
Audits have been on a pause, but that’s coming to an end. Thanks to the pandemic, an unprecedented number of people worked from home over the last couple of years. Very few people on work sites meant it wasn’t worth the while of regulators to assess sites for compliance. Many audits were less strict than usual, or put on the back burner. That’s changing. With people back at work, it’s time to get sites compliant again. Organizations will be budgeting replacements for equipment, as well as security upgrades to make sure their sites are compliant and up to code.
A new approach to manguarding
As we mentioned earlier in this blog post, organizations were very frustrated with the performance of security officers during COVID, and may be looking for alternatives to human officers. This means they may be budgeting for autonomous vehicles or robots that allow organizations to staff posts without having to rely on human officers. Autonomous units can’t do all the work a human officer can do, but can do things like take the temperatures of visitors to a site, or provide access control without relying on a guard. While robotics saves money on staffing in the long run, the initial outlay for units may be in the budget for next year.
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A revision of policies and procedures
2023 may be the year policies and procedures are revisited. During the last two years, many companies learned that their policies and procedures were not written to their actual security needs. Moreover, insurance companies are tired of paying out for safety issues caused by poorly written policies.
The rise of the GSOC
Data and analytics are taking a big role in security, thanks to COVID as well as the smart tools and platforms used to enhance security. For this reason, many organizations are likely to include funding for a Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) in their budget.
A look back at the last two years
The COVID-19 pandemic gave organizations a sense of perspective when it came to their security. Thanks to COVID, organizations were able to see if their security programs were as good as they believed, and where their weaknesses lie. Thanks to this, I think many organizations will be focusing on a retrospective - seeing where their security failed, where it succeeded, and where resources need to be added. Budgets are likely to expand a bit to include those new resources.
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