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: Chris Peckham, Senior Vice President and CTO, Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions Inc.
What do you expect will be the biggest changes, challenges and/or opportunities as they relate to security markets and business & operations?
Chris Peckham: There are numerous changes coming to many traditional physical security markets. One of these changes is going to be influenced by the deployment of First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet. It will bring a mix of public and private partnerships together to build complex systems that traditionally were implemented by larger integrators. There is also work being performed to secure maritime areas. The educational market will also see growth due to tragic events that have recently occurred. On the operations side, a number of manufacturers are moving to a model where they will sell directly to the end user as well as offering professional/consulting services. These moves eliminate the integrator from the equation. Margins are also diminishing on many material and equipment sales with some customers purchasing these materials and supplying them for high-value projects. The key here is for integrators to continue to offer a high level of service with specialized knowledge. They also need to provide additional value to the end users through professional or managed services.
What do you see in the areas of politics, legislation and standards as they pertain the security?
Peckham: Compliance with many regulations will not occur without real enforcement. As lawmakers fund enforcement across the regulations, compliance will increase. However, regulations also provide a common framework when discussing a system or process. Techniques have been developed that allow the assessment of systems to be compared from one company to another in a meaningful way. This can also be done across industries. Functional standards have been designed and implemented and will continue to provide greater interoperability between different devices and systems.
What type of year are you anticipating overall in 2013?
Peckham: Much of what happens in the first part of 2013 is dependent on the “fiscal cliff.” Companies are still concerned and watching their capital expenditures, which could impact growth for manufacturers and integrators. Operating expenditures may be less impacted, which will provide opportunities for monitoring providers and those ready to move into cloud and managed services.
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?
Peckham: In the bid market, issues between AEC/design firms and general contractors continue to cause problems for the end users. Do the systems that are installed as part of these projects reflect the needs of the end users or just allow the GC to meet a budget number? Many times, the specifications are modified once a project starts and may not meet the desires of the end user. This can be improved by educating the end user and making sure that all parties know what is possible and how the systems can be used. The growth in the importance of cyber initiatives and problems that can occur if they are not addressed is not fully appreciated by the community. Those will take some time to deploy the appropriate fixes and make sure that everyone is aware of the potential risks.
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?
Peckham: There are a number of larger integrators that are moving into the security space and will continue to do so. They will work with more traditional security integrators to increase their capabilities for larger projects. Venture capital firms are also there looking at the space. The consolidation we have seen in the past will continue to occur. Trends such as bring your own device, or BYOD, and the cloud will also impact the industry. To be prepared, integrators should attempt to diversify across both markets and products. They should also be open to the changes that are occurring and keep up with identified trends as well as focusing on training and relationships across all facets of the business.