In Stanley Kubrick’s classic film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” a computer named HAL-9000 assumes control of a space mission and, with it, the fortunes of its human occupants. While technology has not yet taken control of everyday life the way this movie predicted, a number of advances have had a great effect on our lives.
This technological explosion has also deeply affected the security industry. And, according to Security Sales’ recent survey of several industry leaders, who were asked to predict the most significant security trends for 2001, these advances will clearly continue to play a major role in the shaping of the industry.
As the 21st century dawns, though, it is not only booming security technology, including systems integration and the many uses of the Internet, that astounds this panel. Continued market consolidation and the ongoing movement toward the formation of a single industry association are also key trends that will make 2001 an important year in the industry.
Following are 10 trends experts envision for 2001.
1) Consolidation Creates New Focus
Other current events in the industry pale in comparison to the wave of consolidation that has been ongoing for years. That trend will continue to move forward on various fronts in 2001.
2) Systems Integration Market Set to Explode
As you can tell, the systems integration market is neatly intertwined with continued consolidation in the industry. But systems integrators can rest assured that their marketplace is also making great strides on its own.
3) Uses of Internet Become Widespread
As the Internet’s influence on daily life grows, so it also grows in the security industry. From data transport to customer service to remote viewing, the ‘Net has almost limitless uses for manufacturers, installers and end users.
4) Biometrics Continues Making Strides
Another technology that is on the verge of a market breakthrough is biometrics. Often mentioned by industry leaders as a key component of the systems integration scheme, biometrics is finally coming into its own as a reliable security technology.
5) Residential Market to Be Rediscovered
The importance of the residential security market has often been overlooked in the recent rush to consolidation, technology and systems integration. Our experts say that this will be the case no more.
6) Product Improvement Must Gain Focus
Another concept that has been somewhat pushed aside with the advent of ever-growing technology is specific product improvement to make security devices more useful for and responsive to customers’ needs.
7) Custom Installations Grow as a Niche
With the growth of integration comes the increased awareness of the need for custom installations, especially on the commercial side of the business.
8) False Alarms Are Omnipresent
The false alarm problem has been bandied about so much in recent years, it appears that ongoing efforts to find a solution are almost taken for granted. In fact, only one of our experts even mentioned false alarms.
9) Interindustry Relations Must Improve
Relations among manufacturers, distributors and alarm dealers have long been less than ideal. While manufacturers recognize that installers provide the main presence in an end user’s home or business, often dealers have felt slighted for their value.
10) Will the Association Merger Happen?
Much of what the previous nine trends centered around, in essence, was working together to improve the industry, both from a technology and customer service standpoint. Currently, the industry trade associations are working on what could be the most important combination of forces to allow installers to provide the best possible products and services to their customers.
While it will take the entire year to see which, if any, of these predictions come to fruition, the industry appears to be moving forward on a fast track in technology, marketing and customer service.