Good News, Bad: What’s Better and Worse About the Security Industry
While there is plenty to be happy about in the security industry, not everything is rosy. Experts give their takes on the good (advancements in technology) and the bad (lack of labor, DIY).
As part of SSI‘s 2019 Industry Forecast, we spoke with more than a dozen experts to gain their insights into what 2019 holds for the security industry. Fourteen of them also shared what they believe is better and worse about the industry. Here’s what they had to say…
Jorge Hevia | Napco
GOOD: Greater awareness in residential market with mass advertising campaigns, some highlighting DIY systems; greater demand and interest in security and IoT, with more robust integrated ecosystems to support them; and greater consumer adoption of security-oriented goods and services.
BAD: More competition including large market entrants, with marketing budgets and know-how; more monitored security systems, increasing the burden on municipalities for response; more DIY offerings for pros to compete with; and more downward pressure on monitoring rates in residential market due to competition and online monitoring options for self-installed systems.
Hank Monaco | JCI
GOOD: Customers now have access to a more comprehensive security portfolio thanks to research findings. Advanced technologies and analytics are also gathering smarter insights that are being used to increase operational efficiencies and business processes.
BAD: An area where there is still room for improvement is building the talent pool and a more skilled workforce in order for us to continue to offer even more intelligent solutions.
Ivan Spector | TMA
GOOD: We can do amazing things today with the technology that is now available — from smart devices to powerful video analytics to soon deploying smart detection devices that will recognize those enrolled in the system, and at reasonable price points.
BAD: Cybersecurity is such a huge threat. I do not believe many companies can even grasp the devastation this can leave and how your entire operation on which many are relying on can be left in shambles.
Tracey Boucher |ScanSource
GOOD: There has been a recent increase in diversity across the industry, bringing with it new ideas, different perspectives and valuable insights. Additionally, the quality of security products has increased, as well as the demand.
BAD: As technology continues to evolve, the needs of end users have become more complex. While this provides great opportunity, it also means that more so than ever resellers must be able to anticipate and proactively address end-user needs.
Mitch Reitman | Reitman Consulting Group
GOOD: Smart home systems are helping bring consumers to the residential market. Video analytics and innovative CCTV and systems integration are replacing physical security. The availability of reasonably priced access control for small businesses are helping convert customers from traditional key locks.
BAD: Trouble for independent companies that stick to the traditional model and don’t embrace smart home and lifestyle systems.
Bill Bozeman | PSA
GOOD: First, there is increased demand for security solutions and technology improvements have made rapid deployment of more systems a reality. Right now, the economy is strong, construction is up and there is a lot of business opportunity.
BAD: The continued rise of DIY and commoditization of lower end products that has especially impacted the residential market. Younger generations are not fearful of technology and are willing to explore DIY solutions more readily than other generations before them.
John Distelzweig | FLIR
GOOD: Technologies such as ONVIF standards, H.264 compression and high resolutions of both thermal and visible cameras have become deeply ingrained in customer expectations to the point they are assumed to be in the latest enterprise-grade products. As a result, users are less concerned about making poor technology decisions that will compromise system interoperability, cost and maintenance. Rather, users are more focused on value-add features that deliver a higher ROI.
BAD: Less established manufacturers attempting to gain exposure through extreme claims. Also, some of the M&A activities can leave smaller companies at a competitive disadvantage in terms of access to R&D or sales/marketing budgets, even though they may offer compelling solutions.
Richard Ginsburg |Alert 360
GOOD: There are more products and services to offer consumers, installation is easier if installers are well trained, and video is more prevalent than ever with explosive demand.
BAD: It is a very tight and difficult labor market, employee benefit costs are increasing and equipment tariffs will impact profit margins.
Morgan Hertel |Rapid Response
GOOD: More technology/money is getting invested into the industry, new entrants have identified opportunities and are increasing market penetration, and ASAP [Automated Secure Alarm Protocol] to PSAP [Public Safety Answering Points] is becoming a viable service.
BAD: Financing is not going to be as easy as it was and will be at higher rates, dealers that were not proactive and engaged with their subscribers are in for rough year, and false alarm fines and regulations will continue to be a problem for most.
Fredrik Nilsson | Axis
GOOD: As technology continues to improve, customer satisfaction increases. Today security solutions are being discussed at the C-suite level as must-have investments. Companies are applying corporate standards to their selection process and partnering with vendors and integrators that can help them devise policies and procedures to elevate their risk protection.
BAD: Trade wars could wreak havoc with the industry, in terms of access to critical materials for manufacturing and the ability to guarantee on time delivery to customers. As facial recognition technology attempts to permeate the industry, it might meet a legislative brick wall when it comes to profiling customers and protecting individual privacy.
Pierre Racz | Genetec
GOOD: More organizations are adopting hybrid Cloud-based solutions, which allows them to divide their data and processing between Cloud and on-premises options. This brings tremendous benefits such as greater flexibility and cost savings while maintaining control of their data.
BAD: While M&A may be necessary to help a fragmented industry consolidate, it often, but not always, results in the weakening of the acquired company or the further dilution of the acquiring company’s brand.
Steve Surfaro | ASIS Int’l
GOOD: The video surveillance and alert system market is anticipated to exhibit substantial growth through 2024, with North America’s electronic security market projected to dominate the global business landscape, owing to the government initiatives to integrate these systems into their public safety segment.
BAD: A new breed of systems integrators from information communication technologies [ICT], mobile carrier space and smart city technologies continue to erode the market for traditional electronic security SIs. Also, VMS and intrusion detection will lose ground as private and public organizations begin consolidating multiple systems into critical event management systems.
Chuck Wilson | NSCA
GOOD: We are maturing as an industry and the companies that invest in their people, training and leadership development have really become successful. We are building up our credibility as professionals and trusted advisors, and have to keep advancing this profession to attract the next generation.
BAD: We still have a few integrators who continue to undervalue our profession, take shortcuts and often reduce margins to the point that it makes no sense to do a project. This holds us back as an industry.
Jeff Kessler |Imperial Capital
GOOD: The industry has better sensors, more technologically advanced leaders and more sensitivity to clients’ needs than ever before.
BAD: A cybersecurity hack could blow up for someone. The increasing failure to hire technology-trained young people, relative to other tech-critical industries. There are also way, way, way too many new false alarms because of the acceleration of DIY and “new age” residential security systems.
Security Is Our Business, Too
For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.
A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!