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: John Brady, President, TRG Associates Inc.
What do you expect will be the biggest changes, challenges and/or opportunities as they relate to security technology, markets, business & operations, and the overall industry?
John Brady: The manufacturers and dealers will continue to offer more user-enhanced security and home automation features, on premises and remotely, that will continue to improve customers’ utilization and satisfaction with their security and life-safety systems.The increased capabilities of the systems and their integration with the remainder of the home will aid in the continued penetration of the residential marketplace. On the business and operations side, manufacturers will have to find more online means of training technicians and customer service personnel as the panels and the related remote capabilities continue to advance.Similarly, dealers will have to improve the level and extent of product training for their customer support and online service personnel to help improve their customer education programs so as to maintain a one-call resolution for customers’ questions. Central stations will find new ways to integrate cloud-based applications into their monitoring offerings and the automation providers will continue to lead that evolution. Brick-and-mortar issues will diminish as companies grow this capability. Overall, the security industry will continue to grow residential customer base penetration levels. There will also be stronger growth of video verification as a technology or protocol to help improve AHJ dispatch efficiency and outcomes. For dealers, I see revenue growth of 6% to 8% due to increased installation revenues, while monitoring providers should obtain RMR growth of at least 5%.
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?
Brady: The continued evolution of the signal carrier paths and technologies, such as POTS line, 2G, etc., will continue to create challenges for the dealers in their efforts to balance those carrier changes with reasonable costs into the future to match products to those fading and newer paths. Also, the industry will have to begin to adapt to the increased regulations and costs of Obama Care as 2014 approaches. The higher tax structure on small business owners will also present some challenges for an industry that is still dominated by small business providers. Assuming Washington resolves the “fiscal cliff” issues within a reasonable compromise of both parties’ agendas, which I believe they will, 2013 should be a more positive business environment than 2012 for our economy.