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Top 10 Challenges Bound to Test Security Integrators

While the outlook on the security industry as a whole is very positive, that doesn’t mean there aren’t bumps along the way.

Just because the security industry is growing doesn't mean there aren't challenges.

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GIVEN that the latest results from 2016’s annual Systems Integration Study show educational and healthcare campuses as the No. 1 vertical markets for both access control and video surveillance, the timing could not be more perfect for SSI to focus on campus safety this month. The schools, colleges and hospitals category also tops the list for intrusion detection business sources. In all cases, that market has grown significantly as compared to a year ago, according to respondents.

The robust campus market is a just a kernel of the wealth of good news for security integrators as evidenced in the research. And by the looks of last month’s record-shattering ISC West, the industry at large is surging right now. Yet these positive indicators do not mean integrators are without their burdens, both legacy and emergent. In fact, oftentimes opportunities can bring about new challenges or make existing deficiencies that once seemed inconsequential or inconspicuous stand out like sore thumbs.

Nowadays in the business of security, the status quo is a no-no. The pace of technology, heightened competition and elevated customer expectations require that a provider possesses a responsive attitude, agility and necessary competencies to overcome challenges and be positioned for the best chance at success. This dynamic environment pushes people outside their comfort zone, particularly security veterans fitting the typical profile of being borderline obsessive where it comes to structure and predictability. And so when confronted with certain challenges, especially those related to today’s rapid change, many dig in their heels. The real rub is resisting challenge averseness while striking a balance between speed and prudence.

For me, the most vivid depiction of the natural human inclination to recoil from challenges has been raising my son. Amid avoidance, excuses, complaints, fits and sometimes tears, my wife and I remain steadfast with pushes — sometimes gentle, sometimes not so gentle — that hopefully prepare him to effectively deal with life’s many curveballs. As an only child, he has all the support and encouragement in the world, but also no necessity to compete with siblings for attention or resources. Not much difference between that scenario and an integrator whose past success has morphed into current complacency.

Find out what leads off the top 10 challenges (based on a 1-5 scale) as compiled from the Integration Study. I reached out to a few SSI Advisory Board members and contributors for ideas how to deal with this preeminent challenge.

With all the vibrant campus business, maybe firms can recruit some of the college students they are helping safeguard!

Article Topics
Business Management · Columns · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
Contact Scott Goldfine: [email protected]
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