For facility executives, it’s important to determine whether new security or other technology qualifies as “bleeding edge” or beta technology. Often, facility executives are introduced to the technology during a presentation involving a salesperson and someone else who is furiously working to set up the product. Here are some questions facility executives should keep in mind during the presentation:
This list of questions is far from exhaustive. When evaluating a technology being presented, always remember that a product failure, connectivity or functionality issue will be far worse in a real application than in a demonstration. Also keep in mind that when testing a manufacturer’s cutting-edge technology, it is on their terms, their equipment, their software and in some instances their environment.
How do facility executives ensure that they won’t be “cut” by bleeding-edge technology? First and foremost, consider letting the technology age a bit. The aging process will further competition between other manufacturers’ product offerings, while refining technology and lowering costs as manufacturers seek to capture market share. Other points to consider:
Although new technology can bring multiple benefits to an organization, investing in “bleeding-edge” technology can bring change orders, delays, and maintenance or warranty issues. There’s no reason to rush into brand new technology. Instead, facility executives may want to put in place progressive building blocks (infrastructure such as reliable cabling, larger computers or larger storage drives), which will allow them to adopt technology that has matured. The aging period will ensure that it is fully vetted by other unsuspecting end users who were unknowingly beta testers.
Sean A. Ahrens, CPP, CSC, is a senior security consultant with Schirmer Engineering. Ahrens has more than 17 years of experience in the security industry. He sits on a variety of standards-setting panels including those associated with Underwriters Laboratories and the Security Industry Association. He is a member of the commercial real estate council of ASIS International.
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