A nightmare that won’t end, infrastructure theft continues to rise in South Africa costing the economy an estimated R100+ billion/year. Large corporations and state-owned enterprises have called for “drastic measures” to be put in place. Telkom’s group CEO, Serame Taukobong, said his company – like others in the telecommunications sector – is experiencing “high levels of cable theft and sabotage, battery theft, and vandalism of infrastructure” via TechCentral.
“Transnet Freight Rail has experienced an exponential increase in incidents over the last five years. Over 1 500km of cable has been stolen (a 1 096% increase) in the past five years, with a net financial impact of R4.1-billion,” said Transnet CEO Portia Derby.
Smart Technology. An investment for the long run
With the constant rise is in theft and vandalism, large businesses and state-owned enterprises need to identify smarter options to secure, manage and monitor their infrastructure.
Enter IoT (the Internet of Things).
Bridging the divide between the physical and digital, IoT technology enables businesses and enterprises to connect assets, people, and “things”, driving efficiency, security and unlocking cost savings through real-time control and monitoring. Machine learning capabilities allow for pro-active insights on trouble areas, key alerts, alarms and necessary actions. This provides a more intelligent way to operate by doing more, with less resources.
A Digital Business Strategy
Business strategies that do not incorporate a digitization aspect or at least plans to digitise, will be found wanting. Growth in the current economic landscape heavily relies on the ability to process and make use of data faster. This allows better decision making and planning in real time. It also enables a more intelligent and equipped workforce – armed with the right insight to act based on the highest priority items first.
Real-time Data & Alerting = Decentralised Operations
Security alerts for theft and vandalism of state- and privately-owned infrastructure need to be in real-time. Better insight and alerting times are needed to actively dispatch the right people, to affected areas/sites. This model allows for better utilisation of scarce subject matter experts to provide decision making and control outcomes to people (and systems) in the field. Reducing travel time, and reducing the time to action.
How these systems work
A system of interconnected devices such as movement, tamper, and video type sensors ensures visibility across locations. Through IoT.nxt, remote and pro-active monitoring through Digital Twin style (in short – a digital depiction of actual sites and assets) interfaces, allowing organisations to better understand security threats with visual component alerts.
IoT technology enables vast and richer security capabilities. From geo-fencing equipment to smart sensors that send alerts when a voltage drop occurs, to identifying intrusions and possible SOP violations. The capabilities and offerings of IoT continue to grow as needs and process maturity arise.
A Smarter Future: Deep Learning for security cameras
Security cameras with artificial intelligence (AI) are setting the standard in technological developments for video surveillance. Deep learning can help in criminal investigations. A smart camera system can recognize many anomalies, such as people of interest, illegal objects, and unknown vehicles. When set-up in proximity of assets, these can send early detection alerts based on defined algorithms. From alerts for suspicious body language, to alerts for detecting suspicious objects (tower batteries, railroad tracks, copper cables and more).
IoT – the answer to a majority of security needs
IoT offers solutions that can help curve the significant increase in vandalisms and thefts across the public and private sector. With technology advancements occurring daily, the maturity of technology offerings continues to accelerate. IoT serves to digitise and optimise infrastructure and systems to bring better security and cost savings and efficiencies.
Implementing a platform that can stream data from any device and sensor, instantly organise and stream data, while visualising it in ways that promote smarter ways of work – while driving an innovation mandate – is not optional. It is now table stakes for innovative organisations seeking to stem the tide on crime, while driving a modernisation agenda.
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