What does 2012 hold in store for your business and the industry? Find out with the many insights offered in SSI‘s annual Industry Forecast, which is featured in our January issue. This year, more than 25 of the industry’s most prominent research firms, trade associations, business and finance specialists, systems integrators, manufacturers, consultants, and alarm companies rendered a deep and sweeping portrait of the impending security landscape. The participants addressed the most significant changes, challenges and opportunities they anticipate taking place during the next 12 months in seven critical areas. They are: security technology; security markets; security industry; business and operations; politics and legislation; risks and threats; and ongoing challenges. With the boundaries of print being too constrained to present all of the fascinating and valuable assessments, each of the respondents’ complete, edited interviews are being offered exclusively online. Happy New Year!
President and CEO
Dakota Security Systems
Eric Yunag: Standards, such as PSIA, ONVIF, etc., are becoming increasingly recognized as the way of the future for progressive security consumers. The challenge is for integrators to align themselves with manufacturers that have both an established product line and are embracing an emerging set of standards. The opportunity inevitably lies in embracing the wave of standards-based products and exploiting the functionality that will be enabled by standards-based information sharing between previously separate systems.
Security Markets Perspective
Yunag: The security buyer is becoming more sophisticated higher in the level of decision making in their respective organizations. These buyers have a mandate to deliver business value and will have money to spend on solving problems and reducing risk. This will continue to present a challenge to traditional security industry sales talent that is challenged by selling more than product features. I believe that tremendous opportunity will exist in the next five years for security companies that are able to effectively assess business security problems and present solutions with a quantifiable return on investment.
Security Business and Operations
Yunag: The continuation and acceleration of a trend from last year is the increasing commoditization of electronic security products. The challenge this continues to present is that products are increasingly available from a broader number of sources and the margins on those products continue to come down. The real opportunity this presents for integrators to reinvent themselves as service-oriented companies offering a broader array of higher margin services.
Yunag: The consolidation of the industry and entry of nontraditional companies. This will create opportunities for established integration companies to have a competitive advantage by delivering a high level of security expertise and customer service. Inevitably, the challenge in this scenario for any rapidly growing security company is the recruitment, education and retention of security industry talent. There remains no clear path to entry into the industry and education on security industry best practices remains the product of each integrator’s individual preferences.
Politics and Legislation
Yunag: The biggest change on the horizon is that there will be no change at all. At the most critical of moments, our nation’s leadership has not shown the will to make difficult decisions that will address our nation’s debt and spending. I believe that this is a dramatic change from our nation’s leadership of the past. Regardless of one’s opinion of the decisions made, decisions were made. This represents the single greatest threat not just to security companies, but the economy as a whole. We as a nation must address spending and debt at unprecedented levels or we risk doing permanent and irreversible damage to the greatest engine of capitalism the world has ever seen.
Yunag: I am anticipating 10% growth for our company and could see a similar number for the industry as the nation emerges from recession.