For years, industry and analysts have been touting the benefits of integrated systems that would improve the decision-making process by taking information from disparate functions and processes and organizing it efficiently. Strides continue to be made in driving efficiencies throughout the organization through just this sort of thought: Inventory and purchasing systems, payroll and HR systems, HVAC and fire systems, door entry and elevator systems all coming together in solutions that drive productivity by correlating the data that these formerly disparate systems generated. The industry calls these "converged" solutions, but in the end these efforts are all focused on creating systems that conform to business processes. By driving efficiencies throughout the organization, those systems improve productivity of the workforce.
Unfortunately, physical security has traditionally been left out of this efficiency discussion. In most organizations, building access control and security are focused solely on securing physical assets. They are typically managed by facilities operators who deploy locking and alarm systems to minimize the risk of theft and vandalism. A more complex organization may have a corporate security department that takes experience from the law enforcement world to centralize these operations and deploy more advanced surveillance systems. But in the end, the goal of security is the same as facility maintenance: to keep a company's assets up and running.
IT organizations have always had a parallel goal in mind: to deploy networks and systems that keep their companies running efficiently. But in addition to this, IT has always seen security as a priority in deploying their networks and systems. Their goal is to ensure the security of the information data that is used by their employees.