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:Jay Hauhn, CTO & V.P. of Industry Relations, Tyco Integrated Security
What are the biggest technology shifts we will witness in 2014?
Jay Hauhn: In the past year, we’ve seen organizations increasingly turn to mobile solutions to help enhance their current security systems. The reason the mobile security management systems are so popular is because they offer business owners the opportunity to check in on their facility anytime, anywhere from their mobile devices. This technology can help prevent unauthorized visitors from entering a business, or even restrict access to sensitive areas of the operations. These tools can also help better monitor departmental activity and other critical activities relating the security and operations of an organization. In 2014, we predict that organizations who haven’t already implemented mobile into their security strategy to start laying out the foundations for one within the first three to six months. Moving to the cloud is another trend we expect to see expand in the government and commercial sectors, as it offers organizations the ability to access and share resources over a large network, all the while reducing the total cost of ownership. While the federal government has historically had reservations about cloud services out of security fears, hosted services can actually improve physical security by providing a comprehensive system across multiple buildings and locations. For instance, we’re seeing many organizations starting to integrate cloud-based security services, like hosted video which allows multiple users, at various locations, to view and monitor one particular site, all simultaneously. The cost-saving benefits alone have a significant impact on the bottom line for businesses, which is why we expect to see more organizations with large, global footprints looking to integrate cloud-based services in 2014.
What are the chief business and operations concerns?
Hauhn: As a systems integrator, there are a number of challenges we are faced with on a daily basis. For example, keeping employees up to date with the changing protocols and evolving standards has been one of the challenges. At TycoIS, we take every step to ensure employees are properly equipped to handle each and every situation. Some ways we do this is through annual training sessions for all technicians, conducting frequent assessments to ensure that training is fully understood and learned, as well as offering online education tools on specific security technologies that are available to all employees.
What are some overall challenges affecting the security industry?
Hauhn: Finding a way to differentiate our brand in a crowded market space is one challenge that is seen across the security industry. At TycoIS, we stand out from our competition by working closely with customers to ensure they receive the security solutions that not only meet, but exceed their expectations. This is done by utilizing world-class solutions with our sister company, Tyco Security Products, offering third-party solutions from new partnerships with companies such as Lenel Systems, and ultimately providing technology that’s easy to use and by offering resources, such as the Centers of Excellence which provides organizations access to a robust source of information to enable well-informed decision making. We also make it a priority to increase awareness of our brand through tradeshow appearances and marketing efforts. For example, we communicate to our customers through traditional media channels like press releases, letting them know about new product launches, industry award wins and personnel announcements. In addition, at TycoIS we leverage social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as interactive marketing campaigns including television commercials, infographics and company tradeshow appearances.
What are some of the top political, legislative and standards issues for 2014?
Hauhn: Proprietary protocols used to be the norm in the security industry, and manufacturers were focused on setting up rules and regulations specific to their security system, rather than focusing on industry needs. As we move into 2014, we expect to see an increased demand from the end users for the interoperability of devices. End users want systems and devices that can communicate with each other, so they aren’t locked into just one vendor and industry standards help solve this problem. Groups like the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance [PSIA], Open Network Video Interface Forum [ONVIF] and Security Industry Association [SIA] will continue to improve the interoperability of devices across the board. PSIA is heavily focused on promoting interoperability of IP-enabled security devices and systems across the physical security ecosystem, and ONVIF is dedicated to creating a standard for how IP products within video surveillance and other physical security areas can communicate with each other. In addition, with SIA is another organization that will continue to create standards that will have a positive impact on the security industry. While there has been many challenges in having companies shift away from the “every man for himself” mentality, we are starting to see an increasing number of organizations pushing for industry excellence through these new standards and expect it to continue through 2014.
What type of year are you anticipating overall?
Hauhn: While we can’t speak for the manufacturing and monitoring industries, dealers and integrators have a positive outlook for 2014. Companies are starting to realize the larger benefit of having an integrated security system. For instance, well-designed video systems let business owners capture, save and export video segments that offer key insights into issues that need to be addressed, like whether employees are complying with corporate policies, what the busiest times of day are and do they require more staff, what time of day does theft most often occur, etc. E-mail and text alerts paired with mobile access to live video offer awareness of after-hours access, entry into sensitive areas, and the activation of video sensors. These insights are key to improving the overall operations in critical areas like loss prevention, workplace violence, and the physical security of the facility. Next year, it will be exciting to see how these trends continue to evolve, and what new innovations lie in the future ahead. Overall, at Tyco Integrated Security, we have a long history of serving agencies across many verticals and have worked hard to nurture and develop strong relationships with these customers. We are committed to growing with our customers by offering security solutions that meet their unique requirements to get them through any challenges they may be facing, all while helping them plan for a positive future.
What is something that might surprise people in 2014?
Hauhn: A good thing is we expect there will be consolidation in the industry, particularly in the video space. We believe that this will be a year when video analytics begins to get more traction, emerging as a valid solution rather than a novelty. Additionally, the value of data analytics will begin to show real value to the commercial security consumer via a variety of use cases. A bad thing is active shooter and terrorism events will continue to attack soft targets around the world. This will drive investment in security equipment and countermeasures such as mass notification systems and metal detectors, but at a cost of some reduction of our personal liberties.