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: Joe Gittens, Director of Standards, Security Industry Association (SIA).
What do you expect will be the biggest changes, challenges and/or opportunities as they relate to security technology and business for suppliers, integrators and monitoring providers?
Joe Gittens: Technology within this industry is once again going to be dominated by the increasing opportunities enabled by the proliferation of mobility within our lives. As the mobile device - including phones, tablets and other productivity/entertainment devices - replace the home computing needs of the consumer, our members will be looking for new ways to leverage the expansion of the mobile network. Access control manufacturers will look to expand mobile platforms that enable credentialing on the phone through cloud-based mobile applications. Video manufacturers will focus on incorporating new data compression and transmission technologies to make data capture more mobile friendly, enabling remote surveillance quicker, fast, cheaper and more convenient. And monitoring and intrusion manufacturers and service providers will be working on home and building monitoring programs allowing a premise to be controlled anywhere and anytime the mobile network is available. From a business standpoint, the two areas that our members have told us that they are reinvesting their business dollars in is marketing and research & development. In a still unsettled economy, these areas seem to result in a bigger bang for the buck than expansion and capital improvements. In the security industry figuring out how our products can make positive impacts on the business of other vertical markets is what our members have top of mind. As for integrators, while relations between security integrators and the IT department of many customers has come a long way, there are still some wrinkles to smooth out and perfecting these relationships, and preparing workforces and sales teams for these interactions with IT will continue to be a key consideration moving forward. Monitoring providers will continue expanding into the areas of general facility automation and monitoring through new technologies. Security is already installed at the premise, and is able to provide so many other services that are currently being provided by other service providers. Monitoring providers will continue to fine-tune their marketing approach.
What do you envision as far the industry at large is concerned in 2013?
Gittens: Industry standards will continue to have a strong interoperability focus and industry efforts will continue to not only center on how our products work together but also how our products work with other technologies in the consumer space - such as smartcards, mobile devices and Internet browsers.
What are some pressing security issues and surprises we might see in 2013?
Gittens: The entry of cable/broadband providers into the security space. The security industry has long-time expertise in what our customers want. It would be prudent to figure out what these other industries can offer to our customers that is making them an attractive competitor and ensure that we improve in those areas while re-establishing the history of proven security expertise. Often perceived as being a “stubborn” industry, I think people will be surprised at how flexible and adaptive the security industry can be. As we explore new markets and strengthen markets that we already have a base in, the new and innovative products and services that our members launch this year may surprise some industry outsiders. We have seen a very forward-thinking approach in many of our members and this year will see many of these innovations in products and business processes come to light.