A Glimpse Into the Future of the Security Industry

What does the survival rate look like in the next 10 years for a systems integrator/dealer? SSI Business Fitness Columnist Paul Boucherle answers.

What does the survival rate look like in the next 10 years for a systems integrator/dealer?

Pundits have never been shy about predicting the demise of our security industry business models. Some from out-side our industry who entered our world with “fresh” views meant to provide us with insightful glimpses into the future, but we were just too darn myopic to see it. This was particularly true when we entered the age of the disruptive technology of IP video, remember? If you could have seen the future 10 years ago, would your business be any different than it is today? Let’s discuss some of the factors that might impact your answer to my original query.

What Changes Are Surely Afoot?

In November, I was part of a panel that asked this question and attempted to answer it at the ISC East conference in New York City. Dr. Bob Banerjee of NICE Systems moderated the discussion and Paul Cronin of integration firm Atrion provided the IT perspective. The idea of looking into the future of the security industry, especially at the pace technology is evolving, wasn’t easy, but we took a pretty solid stab at it. We all brought different opinions, experiences and takes on the subject, and agreed to offer some opposing views for a little point/counterpoint, if you will. The audience helped by asking some thought-provoking questions.

So what does the future look like in 10 years, and will you survive, thrive or dive?

One thought was that technology is evolving so fast that delivering solutions as we perceive them today may not even be an option in the future. Will other technologies evolve so rapidly that the IoE (Internet of Everything) will be baked into nontraditional appliances that replace the products we sell today? Will downloadable apps replace our value-added security knowledge that was earned over the past 25 years? Will traditional valuation for recurring monthly revenue (RMR) be dramatically devalued through attrition or migration by younger generations of buyers? Will I be out of a job of writing about security industry issues? Could be.

But don’t drink the funny tasting Kool-Aid quite yet. There is hope if you understand basic human nature. Today it is estimated 72% of buyers do their homework via the Internet before they begin to “shop” for a product or service. Ten years ago, how many people already had their next car designed with all the features, color and options where they could buy it, and knew what it would cost before they went to a dealership? Zero! Does this apply to security buyers?

RELATED: Check Out New Opportunities on the SSI Job Board

Embrace Ever-Present Buying Behaviors

Perhaps not as much information and options are out there like the auto industry today, but our prospective security buyers are certainly much more knowledgeable than they ever have been. Specifications are published, product and company reviews abound, and education by Webinar is ubiquitous. How could they not be smarter? Thank goodness three core buying behaviors have not changed.

1. Trust. People have and will continue to buy from companies and people they trust. To survive, build trust with buyers.
2. Value. Yes, people will recognize and spend more for what they perceive as delivering more value than competing options. Cultivate that value proposition every day.
3. Integrity. The concept of integrity is amplified with social media, reviews and blogs. In a virtual world, integrity still matters more than ever. Respond in real-time with integrity.

Thanks to both Banerjee, for managing and moderating our panel at ISC East, and to Cronin, who is one of the few IT industry experts that truly helps security dealers understand new business models that will enable us to survive the changes that are coming our way. As much as some things change, other things never change – such as the fundamentals of managing a good business enterprise. Lead on!

We will be presenting an encore of this session at ISC West 2015 in Las Vegas, so please come join the discussion. After that … see you in 10 years. I’ll be the one in the Hawaiian shirt with an umbrella drink in hand.


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About the Author


Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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