Digital Transformation – Group 31- Ground Surveillance Radars

The company analyzed for our digital transformation project is G4S. G4S is one of the largest security companies worldwide with more than 600,000 employees and provides a wide range of security services. After interviewing an IT manager and a R&D manager, we could formulate their main challenges.

The biggest challenge for G4S was the high labor cost. The security business is very labor intensive and as much as 80% of their costs were labor costs. To reduce the labor costs we provided them with a technological innovation that could transform their business. The proposed innovation is the introduction of ground surveillance radars as an extension of current G4S activities.  The concept of perimeter surveillance currently includes either CCTV (security guards watching television screens with camera surveillance video’s) or mobile surveillance. Mobile surveillance consists of a series of drive-bys: a security employee in a car drives by a property to check if there are any irregularities. Using ground surveillance radars, the need for constant CCTV monitoring or mobile surveillance is removed.


Radars create a 3D image by sending and receiving signals, bouncing off any interfering object. Ground surveillance radar might not sound like a very new technology, as rudimentary radar systems were already deployed in the Second World War. The ground surveillance radars that are proposed are much more complex than the systems used then. Furthermore, it is new to use radars for perimeter surveillance of commercial properties and therefore new to the market of property security.

Ground surveillance radars come in many forms and sizes. The angle at which the radar works ranges from a beam to a 360-degree view. Furthermore, radars can cover many different sizes of areas, depending on the range. Radars can form a perfect team combined with cameras. The radar can detect moving objects and their locations, and the camera can identify the object (Tonkins, 2015).

We then used four hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate the feasibility of the radars. The scenarios all differed in their size, the amount of buildings in the perimeter and the amount of human activity. We compared the costs and benefits of both the old situation with CCTV and drive-bys and the new situation with ground surveillance radars. It became clear that in each of the scenarios, implementing the ground surveillance technology led to a significant decrease in costs, while increasing the security of the property. It could therefore be concluded that the implementation of ground surveillance radars provides G4S with economic and strategic value for different types of customers. With all this in mind, we recommended the management of G4S to further explore the possibilities of implementing ground surveillance radar.


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