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!
National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA)
Chuck Wilson: Mergers and acquisitions will continue to both confuse and benefit the industry. Innovation in new technology seems to be a driver in this. Each time we see a consolidation it causes the channel to require an increase in spending for training and demo gear.
Wilson: I follow closely the new commercial construction trends. It gives me a good indicator on which marketplace our members will be working on in upcoming months and years. Anything related to health care, government facilities and public works will see growth. Education, corporate, religious, retail or hospitality will be very soft for the next couple years.
Security Business and Operations
Wilson: I see a lot of changes in the distribution channel where buying groups and large stocking distributors will gain a foothold. Eighty percent of our members report buying through distribution on a regular basis. This number has grown tremendously in just the past few years. Inventory levels at the dealer level will reduce as a result.
Wilson: I see mass notification emergency communication and life-safety systems being the fastest growing portion of the industry. Partnerships and mergers with security, fire alarm and traditional security integration companies will begin to take place on a more frequent basis.
Politics and Legislation
Wilson: Police and fire departments will get out of the business of responding to electronic alarms altogether.
Risks and Threats
Wilson: IT companies will come into the security space from the networking side of the IP connectivity. I think there will be nontraditional competitors from that market segment learning more about electronic security and offering packages that include this. The upside is partnering with these firms on jobs we wouldn’t ordinarily even know about. Also the price of hard drives in DVRs in an issue.
Wilson: The acceptance of video surveillance in public spaces. Also, another challenge is when building codes are in conflict with one another.
Wilson: I see it being flat, which has become the new ‘up.’
Wilson: Be realistic in your 2012 business plan and revenue projections. Opportunities for growth will still exist, but you need to spot trends faster, react quickly and be more strategic than ever in running your business.