Eagle Eye Networks

Survey Reveals What’s Working and What’s Not for IT and Security Teams

November 29, 2021 Tad Druart

Trends in the Information Technology and Physical Security industries are bringing the IT and physical security departments closer together than ever before. In addition, staffing challenges are requiring professionals in both departments to share, collaborate, and solve problems that are more complex and sophisticated than ever before. How is the collaboration going and how can professionals in these departments work better together? To find out, we sent out a survey to thousands of IT and physical security professionals around the globe. The results of the survey provide some insight into the dynamics and directions teams can move. 

IT and Physical Security Often Separate, But Communicative

For two-thirds of the respondents, the IT and physical security teams are separate departments reporting to different executive roles. In one-third of the cases, they’re part of the same team, most often reporting to the CIO. More than half of the respondents had 20+ years of experience in their department. 

Regardless of the reporting structure, more than half of the professionals feel the relationship between the two departments is very collaborative, with another one-quarter saying they’re somewhat collaborative.  Almost 20 percent feel they’re not as collaborative as they could be.

A key element of collaboration is the amount of communication between the departments. In this case, 67 percent of the respondents feel they have the right amount of communication, with the other one-third desiring more communication.

At the Root of Collaboration Challenges

When it comes to the challenges making it harder for the two departments to work together, the issues are split between technology and behavior. 

The lack of information sharing, lack of understanding, and varying levels of technical understanding between the two disciplines are the top issues that have caused challenges in collaboration and performance. With different or competing priorities, dissimilar technologies, lack of integration, and budget prioritization complicating their ability to work better together.

When asked how the two departments could work better together to overcome the challenges, there are four clear directives:

  1. More joint planning and goal setting
  2. Taking more time to understand each other’s priorities and needs
  3. Improved integration of systems and technology
  4. Improved training and cross-training across the departments

Staffing Issues and System Integrations Plague Both Disciplines

There is significant alignment between the departments when it comes to the challenges they face as departments, with staffing and skills gaps being the overwhelming issues for which both teams are trying to solve. 

Choosing and implementing systems that integrate and share information is the number one technical challenge both departments face, coming in as the second highest challenge overall.

For the physical security department, planning and budgeting is the third most highly reported challenge of the department. The IT department reports that improving and maintaining its infrastructure is the third most difficult challenge they face. 

The IT department also rated responding to and staying ahead of cybersecurity threats as a top challenge, while the physical security team added “adapting to changes and threats in the physical environment” as a leading challenge. 

What Respondents Had to Say

Some of the most interesting aspects of the survey came in the comments section, where respondents were asked, “What is the ONE THING you wish your colleagues in the other department knew about your department?” And, “What is the biggest misconception your peers in the other department have about your department?” 

What physical security wishes IT knew …  

 “… We are a team and while I may not completely always understand IT issues, I am still here to help any way that I can.”

Biggest misconception IT has of physical security …

“ … All we do is secure doors and watch cameras.”  

“ … That it stops at the front door.”

Biggest misconception physical security has of IT …

“ … It’s a utility just like the lights/power.”

“ … Cybersecurity isn’t that big of an issue these days.”

The IT/Physical Security Relationship Matters More Than Ever

The need for IT and physical security to work closely together will only become stronger as more and more businesses adopt cloud video surveillance technologies that not only improve security, they make businesses more efficient and effective. When other departments, from operations to marketing, customer support to human resources, start to understand the value that video with the appropriate artificial intelligence and analytics can deliver, even more people will be asking IT and physical security for support. From a technology perspective only a robust, flexible, and open cloud platform will be able to power the needs of departments across the enterprise. 

For more details, download our best practices guide, “Your Business and IT Systems Run in the Cloud; Here Are Nine Reasons Your Security System Should, Too.”

Ready for more? Learn how Eagle Eye Cloud Video Management System is helping bring IT and Physical Security together to improve safety and business efficiencies. Request a demo today.

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