The January edition of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes our annual industry forecast as a cornerstone of our special 2014 Industry Forecast Issue. For the piece, I interviewed 25 of the industry’s most knowledgeable market analysts, business experts, security dealers, systems integrators, supplier 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: Mitch Reitman, Principal, S.I.C. Consulting
What major technology and market changes do you envision for 2014?
Mitch Reitman: More technological advances are coming into the industry than in the past 20 years. It will be important to understand not only the features, but also the benefits, of new technology. Our concept of residential and commercial services is rapidly changing. It is going to be critical to separate beneficial technology from fads and fluff. New entrants will continue to disrupt the market and traditional companies will have to define their niche and be the premium provider. Aging Baby Boomers will increase demand for medical and personal emergence services while a new generation that is very technologically proficient will drive demand for services such as automation and video monitoring.
What do you see as the major issues affecting the overall security industry?
Reitman:Traditional security companies will improve false alarm issues by utilizing technology, such as video monitoring and clips, and adopting policies such as Enhanced Call Verification. The increase of DIY alarms and ultra mass-marketed systems may lead to huge false alarm issues. Political bodies and regulatory agencies will struggle to pass ordinances and codes to keep up with new technology. National, state, and local trade associations have an opportunity to assist these entities in developing standards and ordinances.
What type of year are you anticipating overall?
Reitman: Large manufacturers will grow organically and through acquisitions. New, well financed, manufacturers, and start-ups will enter the marketplace. Some will thrive, many will leave. On the dealer side, efficient operators will thrive, poorly managed companies will struggle or sell. And the increased capital required to monitor new technology will drive consolidation of central stations.
What is something that might surprise people in 2014?
Reitman: The traditional business model, and by traditional, I mean alarm panels connected to central stations over POTS lines, has been changing for the past few years. I predict new installations that utilize radio, cellular or Internet protocol connectivity will surpass phone line protocols in the next year, if they haven’t already. Security and integration companies must not only understand the new technology, they must embrace it.
Anything else you would like to add pertaining to 2014?
Reitman: The midterm Congressional elections will have a huge impact on small businesses. If there is a large turnover in Congress, I expect the small business climate to improve. If things do not change, new taxes and regulations may make times very tough for small business owners.