The January edition of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes our annual industry forecast as a cornerstone of our special 2013 Industry Forecast Issue. For the piece, I interviewed 20 of the industry’s most knowledgeable market analysts, business experts, systems integrators, manufacturer representatives and trade association directors. Some of their perspectives can be found in the magazine article, with the balance of their assessments appearing in separate Under Surveillance blog posts.
Featured in this installment: Scott Harkins, President, Honeywell Security Products Americas.
What do you expect will be the biggest changes, challenges and/or opportunities as they relate to security technology, markets and business for suppliers, integrators and monitoring providers?
Scott Harkins: From a manufacturer’s standpoint, we will place a higher focus on a single design language that goes across all of the businesses: intrusion, access control and video. As technologies become more integrated and start to work with each other more closely, our engineering teams in particular will have to work more closely together to design these new universal platforms. For dealers and integrators, recognizing that technology is changing rapidly, dealers will have to hire a different type of individual today than historically. Everything is now becoming IP-based, so dealers need to have IT expertise available, and need to hire wireless-savvy individuals who have the ability to integrate diverse platforms into a single solution. They will have to be prepared to install the technology quickly and profitably to respond to the consumer speed market we are in. Dealers need to be ready for change, and ready to bring in those new skillsets. Monitoring providers also have to accept and adapt to the latest technology in order to grow. For example, technology like Total Connect remote services can help drive RMR and lower attrition – a benefit to the dealer as well as the central station.
What type of year are you anticipating overall for 2013?
Harkins: There has been robust growth both in the commercial and residential markets in 2012. Looking into 2013 and beyond, there is an opportunity to increase overall market penetration. For example, residential market share has historically been steady at 20%. With new technology like remote services and new lifestyle features integrated in security panels, there is greater opportunity to broaden the market share to closer to 40% in the coming years. There is also a growth opportunity for commercial installations, particularly with small to midlevel systems. For instance, Honeywell’s NetAXS-123, with video and remote access capabilities, provides an easy and affordable door entry solution to specifically meet the needs of small-to-medium sized businesses – a market segment that’s poised to grow. Those dealers who embrace new technologies like connected home and connected business systems and proactively sell both life-safety and lifestyle products, will find more growth.
What are some nagging or pressing security industry issues you expect to remain unresolved? Any ideas/thoughts about how to address or improve these situations?
Harkins: An important issue the intrusion business in particular faces is nonresponse, and reducing the number of false alarms. There are a growing number of cities with nonresponse regulations, and the industry has to come together on a joint initiative for a dramatic reduction in false alarms combined with technologies like voice and video verification to assure continuation of police response.
What are some things that might surprise or catch people off-guard in the security industry? Any ideas/thoughts about how they can be best prepared to handle?
Harkins: The security industry has had relatively slow technology change over the past couple of decades, but the speed of change is increasing. It’s now moving at almost consumer speeds. Products that used to last five to six years are now on one- to two-year lifecycles with new features constantly being added. This only increases the importance for dealers and manufacturers to keep up on trends, embrace new technology, and be active in the industry. There are a variety of ways to become more involved in the industry – through local associations, organizations like ESA, CSAA, CEDIA, SIA, etc., additional training and webinars/discussions online from manufacturer providers, and even by simply connecting with your Honeywell representative.