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: Les Gold, Partner, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp
What will be the significant technology and market developments for 2014?
Les Gold: Technology changes will drive the market. As new technologies emerge, opportunity for growth follows. I believe that business will be up 10% to 20%. Although around for some time, several markets are finally catching on. PERS is growing significantly, the smart home is coming along and with all of the problems the transportation companies are having, security should be booming! The challenges, as always, are competition and, of course, making sure that product and service is appropriate and excellent.
What are some of the primary issues impacting the overall security industry?
Gold: False alarms will still be an issue, although the alarm companies are to a great extent getting their arms around the situation, based on greater awareness, technology and efforts by the industry to curb number of alarms fairly significantly. I will also say there are too many tradeshows. From a regulatory perspective, as the number of services increase and as new players enter the market, such as the cable companies and AT&T, regulatory agencies will offer a closer watch on the industry. I believe there will be more regulation and greater enforcement. Several of the associations are working on standards and I believe there will be a greater emphasis on standards. The industry itself, however, should be very careful in developing new standards.
What type of year are you anticipating for the industry?
Gold: Manufacturers will have a good year. The time to consolidate is when you are having a good year or a bad year. So based on current estimates for a good year, I believe there will be a great interest by many companies to fill in and add to their lines, and therefore there will be a significant number of acquisitions, particularly from abroad. Dealers and integrators
will also have a good year. There will be consolidation based on normal retirement issues and consolidation based on necessity. On the monitoring side, I do not see much consolidation, unless perhaps from offshore companies.
What is something that might surprise people in 2014?
Gold: Improvement of the residential market created by the entry of the cable companies and AT&T. They will create a new awareness and increase the market size for everyone. Also there will be the entry of new players into the market from abroad. How to handle it? With good workmanship and excellent service.