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: Frank De Fina, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Samsung Techwin America
What do you expect to be the biggest technology and market developments in 2014?
Frank De Fina: In technology, I think we are seeing a clear trend toward mobility. Although the security issues, with the exception of hard cloud, have not changed significantly, the need to view, analyze and respond from a mobile device is gaining more and more traction. This creates opportunity especially for companies who have both stationary and mobile systems and devices in their portfolio. I believe markets like retail, urban systems, advanced perimeter protection and education will remain strong. The challenges will be integration of existing IT infrastructure as well as privacy issues like HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act]. Education, in particular, remains problematic; a recent study cited the relative ease of which an unauthorized person can enter any school property. Technology like advanced perimeter protection coupled with analytics may minimize the risk here.
What are the top business and operations issues for suppliers?
De Fina: I believe we live in the golden age of distribution. Key distributors with national footprint are able to provide inventory, credit and deliver utility far surpassing the manufacturer. This empowers the manufacturer to focus attention on technology, systems and sophisticated solutions. That is to say capitol originally allocated for logistics can be diverted to R&D, sales and marketing.
What political, legislative and standards news will be prominent in 2014?
De Fina: The political environment is uncertain, there has been a desensitized of the population whereas five years ago most citizens would be screaming if they knew their every move was monitored in the city environment. Today, that desensitizing has manifested itself in hundreds of cameras in most every major city. So the prophetic Orwellian novel, “1984,” is evident in 2014. Standards are a wonderful thing if everyone could agree on a standard. A good example would be ONVIF. Many people assume ONVIF compatibility means total functional integration. In reality, ONVIF allows us to see other ONVIF devices in a system. The area of standards is one where the industry needs to devote much more attention.
What type of year are you anticipating overall for manufacturers?
De Fina: I believe the North American market as a whole will continue to grow at 8-10% over the next few years. However, some manufacturers will dramatically exceed that growth. So those manufacturers who enjoy strong brand presence and a diversified portfolio including mobile technology will have a clear advantage.
What about for dealers, integrators and monitoring providers?
De Fina: Dealers and integrators will not only need to continue rapid transition into IT and IP but also to enabling technologies in the future. For monitoring providers the puzzle yet to be solved is applying RMR business models to physical security beyond the residential market. Technologies are advancing at such a rapid pace that a capital investment over five years would most likely yield obsolete and inefficient technology post amortization.