Guest post by Sangeeta Ray, Ravindra Shah, and Neeraj Bhatt, Siemens India

Security assessment of a property is a time and resource intensive exercise requiring physical visits. In the past very simplistic and vague questionnaires have been used for assessment and these offer no great insights on the security measures implemented.  This gave rise to a need for a new method of virtual assessment which would be able to give clear status on the security measures adopted on site along with clear recommendations for residual risk mitigation. The assessment tool needed to facilitate benchmarking of properties and identify the strengths and weakness of its security posture.    

One of Siemens Real Estate’s (SRE) mandates is to conduct a security assessment of all its properties annually. This was traditionally carried out in a rudimentary manner either through physical visits or through a generic excel based questionnaire. Different types of properties were evaluated against the same parameters. The answers submitted were also mostly generic and could not be quantified. In the absence of a numeric method of measurement, deriving compliance percentages and benchmarking was impossible. The risks and the relevant mitigation measures were also at times not clearly identified. This is where Siemens Virtual Assessment & Reporting or SIVAR comes in. SIVAR is an online assessment tool which customizes the questionnaire according to the property type. There are preset answers which have been graded considering the applicability towards each property type. At the end of the assessment a mathematical score of compliance is generated which facilitates benchmarking against similar type of properties. The entire process is virtual and does not require any prior experience or training.

SIVAR offers a virtual tool for site security assessment using simple to use MS FORMS & SharePoint. The questionnaire is customized, and the template answers are graded as per the property types. It also has the provision to upload supporting evidence to substantiate the implemented onsite measures. The assessment result is shared in a report which gives out the overall compliance and residual risk percentages of the site. It also shows the compliance percentage for each of the security aspects, thereby clearly identifying the strongest and weakest areas and suggests mitigation measures to focus future improvement. The tool can be further automated in the future to generate reports and remedial measures as per set template. Use of AI can also be explored to assess the anomalies in the evidence submitted. SIVAR can be used at Site, Regional, Country level and also Globally to assess security of various properties and to initiate improvement and standardization of security. 

Siemens Real Estate India management’s aim had been to benchmark the property protection measures implemented at its various sites. This was however difficult in the absence of any standard evaluation tool which gave exact scores for the measures complied with on sites. SIVAR was developed in house by SRE India staff to provide a tool which facilitated a virtual assessment while also considering the specific site security requirements depending on the property type. It ensures fair comparison between similar property types against clearly set standards. SIVAR provides scores that are verifiable with specific evidence collected from the sites during the assessment. This also significantly improves the visibility and transparency of security for the management. Allowing the SRE India management to focus on critical areas which need significant improvement. SIVAR through its benchmarking methodology also triggers a healthy contest between property management teams to meet and exceed benchmarks by addressing the gaps in property protection measures. It has also resulted into overall reduction of manhours required for physical assessment of properties as well as saving in terms of travel costs.

About the authors:

Sangeeta Ray, Head of Asset Management Real Estate India Bangladesh, Siemens Ltd.

More than 25 years’ experience including leadership position in various field: Real Estate, Strategy, Business Administration, Operations, Audit

Ravindra Shah

20 years of experience in field of Security & Vigilance. Worked with organizations like Essar Group, Mahindra & Mahindra. Currently responsible for Physical Security of all Siemens RE India properties, technology initiatives in field of security and safety, rollout of global security  projects and compliance to global security guidelines.

Neeraj Bhatt

Currently overseeing Security operations of SRE managed locations that entails ensuring the security of properties leased and owned by Siemens Ltd and its affiliated companies thus minimizing disruption of business processes and risk to employees, partners and customers. Also driving various security digitization project centrally in regard to security processes that will enable functional & operations enhancement of Security operations.