Determining an opertional budget for your access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance systems.
CategoriesAccess Control System, Managed Security Services, Operational Budget, Video Surveillance SystemsNo Comments on 841 views

Operational Budget 101

Determining an operational budget is a critical piece to the management of your physical security environment.  This is an exercise in understanding your operational expense and ensuring you’re investing enough to cover overhead, labor, preventative maintenance, trouble shooting and repairs throughout the year.  Once you have your operational budget determined, it is important to understand how to increase your physical security and reduce liabilities with a cost-efficient approach.

How do you calculate it for your access control system and video surveillance systems?

Based on industry data, the average cost per commercial security camera is between $1,000 and $2,500, inclusive of installation costs. Standard office environments tend to be lower in cost while healthcare and critical infrastructure workplaces were on the higher end due to specific certifications required by the installation team.  In our example, we assume $1,500 as the cost per camera with 1,000 cameras being installed. This gives us a total system value of $1,500,000. Industry standard estimates recommend between 15-25% of your total system value to determine annual total operating costs.  Using these estimates, a 1,000 camera system ranges from $225,000-$375,000 annually to operate.

Using your budget in-house versus a managed services provider. 

If managed in-house, these costs are typically much higher given the supplementary staff required to monitor and maintain the system.  A level of complexity and additional cost are layered on when you have cameras spread across multiple locations. In addition to overhead, you must take into consideration that this model typically leans toward a reactive approach due to the inevitable human error.  This can ripple into costly downtime and an increase in additional repairs from undetected intrusions and vulnerabilities.

A managed services provider uses a blend of people, technology and automation to proactively mitigate risk by providing real time alerts with 24/7/365 health monitoring capabilities and end-to-end management.  Processes and advanced technology allow a managed services provider to remotely monitor, maintain and troubleshoot all locations within a business without the added headcount.  It’s a lower cost model with a higher return.

The added value of a proactive managed services provider for your access control system and video surveillance systems.

With a managed services provider, automation and technology provide comprehensive dashboards which include robust reporting in real time with KPIs on devices, inventory, status, operations, retention and servers.  Extensive data and analytics showcase exactly what activity was occurring and what issues were detected and fixed before you even knew there was a problem. This proactive approach using automation and advanced dashboard reporting results in much higher up time than the traditional break/fix reactive model.  A managed services provider properly manages and reduces cyber risk, increases staff and public safety and meets increasing regulation and compliance requirements.


At Star Asset Security, one of our core values is to think outside the box so we can put together creative solutions to help our customers solve problems, drive their business forward and enhance their physical security and IT networks. Visit to learn more today.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *