Looking to 2016: Security Integrators Identify Tech Challenges, Opportunities Heading Into New Year

SSI asked 12 security professionals for their industry predictions for the upcoming year.

Ian Johnston, CTO, Digital Watchdog: Security technology is a huge win for the consumer. Surveillance continues to get cheaper and cheaper, and better and better for “entry-level” products. It is easier than ever to make a ‘good’ IP camera. The giants are offering a commodity solution for pennies on the dollar. The commoditization and price slash of IP solutions has been far more drastic and aggressive than analog technologies over their histories. The crossover from the consumer electronic world will continue to grow, and new exciting solutions will make their way into an otherwise sleepy, stagnant security industry. Access control will start to be eaten alive by the “Ring” solutions of the world, and the only respite for the giants will be fire and the collateral domains they can control from there. Silicon Valley will slowly take over more and more territory as they eat their way into the infrastructure.

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Jim Lantrip, Security Segment Head, Siemens’ Building Technologies Division: I expect to see more technology pushing toward the edge, with more analytics in cameras and smarter card readers. We will see more wireless devices like locks, readers and cameras that take even less bandwidth. We will also see deeper acceptance of the security products by IT departments, more IT-intensive systems, e.g. systems on multiple virtual machines, working with databases in database farms, cloud-based applications that drive additional cybersecurity needs. This will drive the need for cybersecurity awareness, adoption and processes that don’t exist today as standards in the security industry. With wireless taking many different paths, such as NFC, Bluetooth and WAP, this provides greater vulnerability while the industry catches up in the cybersecurity space. This creates opportunities for forward-looking companies by adopting cybersecurity processes and protection practices around products. 

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Tom Cook, Vice President Sales North America, Samsung Techwin: In the CCTV world, we will continue to see a push in higher megapixel technology, but we will see
a demand to move our compression capabilities from H.264 to H.265. The camera manufacturers have already installed this new codec but it will be sporadic in support by the VMS in the beginning of 2016 and then more at the end. The move to H.265 will allow end users to better utilize the higher 4K type cameras on their network and for their storage so they will be requiring it in the near future. New product releases by Samsung — the SNO-8081R and SNV-8081R — support both compression for present and future compatibility, and are already shipping.

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John Nemerofsky, Management Consultant, Integrated Security & Communications: Breakthroughs in technology will be more evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Look for improvements, particularly in analytics, video compression and physical identity and access management. Also, look for greater end-user acceptance of cloud-based services and managed access and video services. Many manufacturers are now fully supportive of open standards as led by organizations such as ONVIF and PSIA. As a result, cameras, recorders, access panels and other components from different providers integrate better than ever before. Full open architecture is still some years away, but we’ll continue to make progress in 2016.

Integration will continue to be a challenge, however not in the more common industry use of the word. The industry is being challenged to integrate its products and services with a host of non-security systems. Facility managers want security to integrate with building management systems controlling HVAC, lighting and water usage. Human resources is looking to integrate its systems with access control, visitor management and other related security functions. Even marketing, legal and other corporate departments want to extract information from our security solutions. It’s all about increasing the effectiveness, efficiency and convenience of the many disparate building systems used by our end users. That will require new solutions from manufacturers’ product engineers and more training for the integrator’s team.

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Jorge D. Hevia, SVP, Sales and Marketing, NAPCO Security Technologies: To keep pace with market demand in commercial security growth, more integrated security solutions technologies will be sought after by enterprise security and risk management professionals. This will include CSOs to security directors determined to minimize liability and institutional in-house security staffers, who seek easy to deploy interoperable systems supported by a single manufacturer. Further, as many of these enterprise systems are IT-reliant, they will require robust encryption and interoperability, i.e. one-system solutions that are IT-friendly and IT-sanctioned as safe, scalable and stable. This will lead to increased technological convergence of security across all disciplines in the category, including software, hardware, electronic and mechanical.

Residentially, newcomers to the professional channel and DIY and MIY growth will cause pricing pressure for traditional dealers. Today’s consumers will look at the “value of money” to see what the professional security channel provides. To successfully out-compete the expanding field, now also including cable companies and custom home integrators seeking RMR opportunities, alarm dealers will have to differentiate their offerings to point out value for money. This will include professionally-trained, 24/7 central station monitoring; video monitoring; support and servicing of product;  alarm communications/reporting expertise; life-safety/fire technologies expertise; code compliance expertise; cooperation/reputation with police and fire department; code compliance; insurance discounts; and high-end connected home system automation for higher end residential applications. Technologically, residential consumers are going to require a security professional to deliver a greater value proposition than is afforded by traditional systems and dealers. By that I mean providing greater value, utility and convenience with remote technologies via smart devices and smarter home options such as scenes, schedules and UIs that are easy and relatable.

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