Strategies for Success when Migrating Security Systems
Migrating your organization’s visitor management, access control and other security solutions to an enterprise system (ES) can be a challenging task. An enterprise system maintains central control over the organization’s entire access and security network by providing administrators at one centralized location the ability to configure and monitor all facilities from a single site, all while allowing local facilities to maintain independent control of their operations. It also allows you to monitor access and controls at multiple facilities from a single workstation at the same time. Whether your organization consists of a few local facilities or many facilities worldwide, a scalable enterprise solution will help reduce costs and streamline operations that will grow along with your company’s needs.
When you begin planning the migration process, preparation is key. For starters, you will need to know what resources are available to you, who the main players will be, and how to develop a solid plan to get the system up and running successfully.
Before starting the migration process:
- Define the “operational paradigm”
- Define performance and scalability expectations
- Coordinate between multiple vendors
- Establish a plan for migrating data
- Prepare for the unexpected
Trouble arises when an organization fails to define the operational paradigm before starting the migration process – addressing administrative processes, controlling environments, reporting and monitoring.
Migrating to an enterprise solution offers the opportunity to:
- Review and evaluate old models and technology
- See where improvements or replacements can be made
- Define existing or potential trouble areas before the process begins
- Review and cleanup existing databases
- Establish in advance which reports can be advantageous or need updating
Reevaluate naming conventions to determine if they work across the entire system or need updating. Consider how your naming conventions will impact different groups and departments.
Most organizations store critical information on people, policies, locations and more in multiple locations. Streamline reporting before beginning the migration project, and determine how much of this data you want to retain and how it will be managed.
Consider an advanced reporting solution designed to gather and organize company information in a way that can help turn business intelligence into security intelligence through intuitive Web-based interfaces that allow for scrutinizing data without the need to print or review hard copies.
Set Your Organization’s Expectations
Defining your organization’s performance and scalability expectations is another important step in conducting a successful migration. Establish the volume you expect the enterprise system to handle in order to adequately plan its overall architecture.
Coordinate among multiple people, departments, facilities and vendors; it is critical to communicate clearly with all internal and external groups the migration will impact. Integrators will install the various applications ranging from fire and security to CCTV, intrusion, and even to visitor management. Your IT team can assist with the shift to a virtual environment and monitor the process.
Create a Team
In addition to a plan, you’ll need a migration team. Select your team, identify who will oversee the migration of data from existing systems to the enterprise solution, and who will maintain the system and its data once it is up and running.
Name a service team member (or members) to perform a pre-migration audit of all existing systems. This team will assess rogue inputs and outputs and any other errors in the system, such as potential database issues.
Include people from human resources, security operations, IT and server management on the migration team. Assign tasks and define deliverables for each team member. Document them in a master schedule to help manage any issues that may arise. The master schedule can also help decide which issues can be shelved separately until a solution is put into place to properly handle revisions.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Finally, prepare for the unexpected. This can be challenging, but it is necessary to a successful migration. Full understanding of the system can better prepare you for potential problems. Be aware of potential pitfalls involving firewalls, virus protection, malware, backups, data sources, desktop policies, upgrade policies and more.
By following these steps carefully, you can put all the tools you need in place to launch and complete a successful migration.