2014 Security Forecast: Right Combination Figures to Unlock a Big Year
Believe the hype: It’s going to be a banner year for security. SSI‘s 2014 Industry Forecast projects nimble and well-managed companies should enjoy up to – in some cases well beyond – growth in the high single digits. Find out how those in the know see it playing out.
2014 Regulations & Compliance
Activity in the standards landscape will increase, as SIA releases the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) Standard and defines management information bases for SNMP networked security devices. ONVIF is releasing an exciting new profile for their video specifications, and PSIA will begin work on standard identity applications for the cloud. All three organizations can capitalize from working together for maximum industry benefit. UL has undertaken extensive standardization work on remote devices that we will see come to fruition in 2014.
Legislation could be enacted that finally requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to establish clear roadmaps for future technology investments intended to protect our nation’s borders. A separate piece of legislation would encourage the DHS Science and Technology Directorate to see greater involvement by the private sector in helping the agency to meet its R&D needs. The predictability in procurement and government investment represented by these legislative proposals could provide new opportunities for manufacturers and integrators alike.
Video verification has been at the core of discussions about legislation and standards within the industry. With video technology advancements, price neutralization and progress when it comes to ease of use, it’s easier than ever to leverage video to decrease the incidence of unnecessary dispatch. Traditionalists never predicted consumers would add the cost of video into their home systems, but the rapid evolution of technology — including increased mobility and reduced cost — has helped spur acceptance of video. We expect continued advancements in video verification for commercial alarms as well, and anticipate leapfrogging verification to actually utilize video to dispatch.
The idea of the credential and how we manage secure access will also be significantly impacted by what happens in the consumer space. The mobile/digital wallet is a central trend. Once there is a viable solution and some industry standards around mobile/digital wallet, we’ll have a better understanding of how — and how quickly — it will influence security.
For most vertical markets, regulations and compliance issues are what drive new business to our alarm industry. So any opportunities to shape and mold the regulations are always a plus to generate new revenue. In addition, dealers and integrators must contend with many rising costs such as health care and other operational and business challenges created by new regulations.
That’s why first and foremost you must get involved in the associations. These include ESA, CSAA and SIA nationally as they closely monitor new proposed regulations. Second, at the local and state level, you need to insert yourself into the government regulation process. This is not just for electrical, fi re or security background checks, which are all important, but for any other tax or regulation that will impact your business and the livelihood of you and your employees.
2014 Pressing Challenges
The daily security issues have remained the most stable part of our market, but with the cloud we now have to deal with the sophistication of the people seeking to breach our security systems. As much as we tout the efficiencies of the cloud, we as an industry have not addressed the continuing security issues surrounding the vast amount of datacenters to be built in order to manage gigantic amounts of data. I see hardening of the cloud as the most pressing issue.
Also, I do not believe our industry can sustain so many companies. It is reminiscent of the PC industry when many manufacturers emerged with their own copy of the PC. But as we found out that industry, which is much larger than ours, experienced what I term “industrial natural selection.” The Darwinian aspect of our industry is clear. I predict over the next two years we will see this phenomenon take hold.
Clearly IT’s role in video surveillance is growing stronger, especially in mid- and enterprise-sized systems. Just three years ago, 52% of video surveillance deployments were supported by IT departments, a number that has grown to 91% today. As such, logical security of physical security systems will become a growing topic. As IT is stepping in, will they accept the level of cyber-security integrators are using today?
Another concern is that despite more and more communities looking to enforce false-alarm fines on local businesses, the lack of verified alarms is a persistent issue. We see a very small amount of alarms that have video verification capabilities tied in. As technologies like access control move to IP and hosted video services gain more traction, video verification will not only become easier, but presents new revenue opportunities for integrators who understand the technology.
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