How TCO and ROI work in DC Cybersecurity

An increase in the workload from remote locations, organisations have become vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

But in the current scenario, along with the technological aspect, it is also important to keep in mind the physical security when it comes to data centres.

But how are these aspects managed and followed? This was discussed in W.Media’s panel session titled ‘Physical and Software data centre security developments to follow.’ The session was moderated by Pawan Desai, Co-Founder & CEO, MitKat Global Consulting Pte Ltd, Singapore. The panelists included Manish Israni, EVP & CIO, Yotta Infrastructure, Umesh Balaji Kothandapani, Global Sales Engineer, EMA and SAP, Axis Communication, Sreejith G, Head & Vice President, Operations, STT GDC India and Anand Thirunagari, Country Head, Genetec India.

It is important to touch upon the Return on Investment (ROI). In simple terms, it is the value you obtain from the system that you obtain from its complete life cycle and it is important to understand what value it creates during the entire process.

We weigh the expected value of the system against the total cost. It is possible to estimate the ROI during its entire life span and we have studies that show great variation in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) distribution, highlighting the importance of looking at each project case by case.

“There are three parts to TCO. First is the cost of acquisition, how much did it cost to acquire the system, the deployment cost, the contract cost and the pre-contract cost.

Next comes the off rating cost, how much does operation cost, the over rate cost, the system operation cost, the system maintenance cost, and if the system fails how much will the recovery cost and system re-designing cost. Finally comes to the system decommissioning cost, we need to consider all these hidden costs in the TCO model,” said Umesh Balaji Kothandapani, Global Sales Engineer, EMA and SAP, Axis Communication.

He further added that when it comes to upfront price, it is always important to see if the IoT device is out of the box, does the upfront cost includes the accessories, for example, to mount the camera and other aspects.

The cost of deployment is another important aspect to look at, how easy is it for a system integrator to install the system, and if it is complex then how much training is required in order to install it in the correct way.

In terms of operations, how much time is needed to maintain the system and look at what are the typical failure rate? It is also important to keep a look at the cost appearing in the other parts of the system. For example, the IP camera system is likely to expand the network and storage. The cost of risk is the most important aspect, figuring out the possible risk in the system. Even if it is not possible to fully quantify the risk, one should identify the risk and consider it accordingly into the business decision.

Identify value

Sometimes, it can become difficult to quantify the deployment system since many benefits are intangible. Identifying the value is critical to creating a reliable business case.

“ROI is the value you get from the system. Values can be direct, the value created by prevention of unauthorised entry, sabotaging, vandalism, how much will the downtime cost to the customer, the risk of cyber-attacks, and others. We have products which can protect the data centre, covering various aspects. When it comes to indirect values, it comes to how much electricity one can save when one has smartly powered IOD devices. The values created in new areas are also important, we talk a lot about physical security.

For example, if the server is getting overheated and we have cameras that can detect when the temperature goes beyond the threshold value then you can get an alert and check if the air conditioning is proper or not. This adds to the security.

We then come to soft values, cyber security includes a lot of policy work and processes which need to be followed by organisations. At Axis, we make sure that our devices are resilient and secure. It is important to verify and neutralise the possible threats and have seamless interoperability between devices and real-time awareness to deal with the threats,” pointed out Kothandapani.

He further explained that when it comes to parameters, it is important to detect and verify the possible intrusions. All of this is a combination of a camera, the access control system, and the IP speaker which enables the complete premises to be secure.

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