Integrating Enterprise Security
When it comes to setting up or expanding your enterprise security system, particularly access and visitor management, it makes sense to integrate your security platform with human resources, IT, and other client apps.
Global enterprises may easily be managing 500,000 or more access cardholders at any given time, which makes integration of all platforms challenging – but critical – for security directors who must maintain accurate reports to ensure only authorized personnel are accessing enterprise facilities.
Accomplishing such a level of integration between enterprise security applications, third-party human resources management (HRM) and human capital management (HCM) apps is quickly becoming the norm, and the advantages are numerous.
Advantages of Integrating Enterprise Security, HRM and HCM
There are plenty of advantages to integrating an enterprise security platform with its human resources or time management platforms. Certified integration of the systems allows administrators to send and receive real-time information updates from the enterprise security system, enabling it to grant access to new hires more immediately, cancel access when necessary, and provide accurate reports on access activity.
Planning Ahead for the Challenges of Integration
When security directors attempt to integrate enterprise visitor management and access control with human resources, more often than not they encounter some stumbling blocks. As in all phases of security planning, understanding these challenges ahead of time can help promote proactive communication between the enterprise’s security integrator, HR department and IT staff to resolve issues efficiently and provide the most effective integrated platform possible.
Security and IT industry professionals often operate with the perception that integrators lack the proficiency to manage and deploy an HCM to merge HR and enterprise security platforms, and frankly, most integrators don’t have the staff with the same applicable expertise and credentials as their enterprise’s internal IT personnel. For this reason, integrators are often “locked out” by enterprise IT teams that are apprehensive about data conduits to “foreign systems” thinking they could potentially bring down the entire human resources revenue production cycle.
With IT concerns in mind, it is critical to develop and maintain strong communication between integrators and IT personnel, as well as coordinate all collaborators from security, HR, and IT in order to define and establish distinct business rules of operation. Collaborators from each department may require multiple data conduits to link security access systems beyond the firewall, both internally and externally, running the risk of isolated servers that operate on more than one subnet becoming disconnected without notification; if these isolated servers fail to receive updates, the situation could be disastrous. For integrators to successfully synchronize enterprise access and visitor management control systems with human capital management software, it is critical that they obtain approval and work closely with the enterprise IT personnel.
Matching Enterprise Access and Visitor Management with HR Database
When integrating enterprise access control and visitor management with the HR database, care must be taken to effectively match user input in one system to corresponding identities in the other. Frequently, no unique identifier, such as an employee ID number, exists in both systems to easily and precisely match them across both systems with certainty. Additionally, in large enterprises, it is not uncommon to encounter individuals with the same first and last name with no differentiating data available. To avoid errors, it is crucial for the organization to establish specific identifiers that are coordinated and consistent throughout both platforms.
Benefits of Integration Begins with Data Assessment
Integrating visitor management and access systems with HR is extremely beneficial to any enterprise, but it can expose the organization to the prospect of coping with incompatible or corrupt data. During the integration, there is the risk of information being incorrectly entered due to user error, or the information may not have be updated as needed as a result of departmental and organizational changes, or leftover information on individuals who have left the company. It is imperative to establish a process in advance for validating or eliminating questionable data. Enterprises often operate with multiple access control manufacturers, requiring each equipment type to integrate with multiple HR platforms.
Ongoing Support to Manage Link between Systems
Enterprises should establish a source for ongoing support to manage and maintain the active software link between the systems. Even after the integration is deployed and in use, any changes to the visitor management, access control or HR system network configuration could require changes to the interface between the implicated appliances. Unforeseen data or changes in operations may also require updates to the interface and established business rules. Integrators should work with IT personnel internally to institute a single standard of support across both platforms that will accommodate future growth and expansion requirements.
First and foremost, to become an active contributor to the enterprise’s complete IT solution, integrators must be proactive in their efforts. There has never been a greater need for security professionals to stay on top of new network technologies, as enterprises continue to upgrade and expand their network and security infrastructures routinely. Proactive communication between all departments is the key to successful integration in order to achieve a positive and effective solution.