Experts Share Their Top 5 Challenges Facing the Security Industry in 2019

Industry leaders and analysts from PSA Security Network, The Monitoring Association and more share challenges the security marketplace must prepare for.

Experts Share Their Top 5 Challenges Facing the Security Industry in 2019

The 2019 edition of Security Sales & Integration‘s annual Gold Book is loaded with industry statistics and analysis.

We already asked industry experts what they believe the top trends in 2018 were. Now take a look below and find what challenges they foresee for the year ahead.

Bill Bozeman: PSA Security Network

1. Finding and maintaining qualified employees and retaining top talent will continue to be a challenge in 2019. We are seeing progress being made with qualified candidates coming out of secondary educational programs with a focus in physical and cybersecurity.

2. Cybersecurity has moved from being a conversation to now being a demand by end users. Physical security integrators and security manufacturers will need to remain competitive with cybersecurity roadmaps and plans for their offerings.

3. The ability to provide and stay current with the latest in identity management technology will be both a large challenge and a large opportunity for the savvy integrator. Many companies are now recognizing that identity is an organization’s biggest vulnerability and the verification and protection of identity data is paramount.

4. Continued acceptance of DIY solutions in residential and light-commercial segments will continue to erode market opportunity for the integrators that focus in those verticals.

5. Adapting to the managed services program [MSP] business model.

Peter Giacalone: Giacalone Associates

1. We will start this coming year with another cellular sunset. The industry will need to address the transition to 4G/LTE cellular communications. Unlike previous transitions it appears that this transition will likely occur in a more rapid fashion. Additionally, it doesn’t appear that all manufacturers are ahead of this and may be behind in new radio deployments as progressive companies would have typically initiated transitioning from legacy radios to the newer radios before the sunset transition has started.

2. Certain consumer directed propositions are transitioning to small increases in system engagement investment and large reductions in recurring monitoring fee’s and choices on engagement commitment. This could eventually have an impact on valuations.

3. It’s been a tough road for certain larger companies to maintain and increase valuations in various sectors. In addition to the potential changes in the consumer economic monitoring model, certain large industry players have had challenges maintaining the higher expected valuations.

4. Cybersecurity continues to present challenges as IoT grows and consumers and other uninformed players inadvertently present opportunity for cyber intrusion and attacks. The quantity of IP devices deployed is growing at an exponential rate. Every device becomes another potential vulnerability when networks are not secured and monitored properly. Traditional companies must engage and collaborate with the professionals that are required to stay ahead of this serious matter.

5. Alarm signal transmissions continue to create a very serious industry issue and challenge. This is an area that although the quantity of traditional systems communicating to telephone line-based receivers is decreasing, because the carriers continue to consolidate to VoIP, the actual problem is increasing at a greater rate.

George De Marco: Deco Ventures

1. Recruiting, retaining and training qualified employees at all levels will continue to be challenging. Employers need to redefine their culture, rethink their recruiting strategies and redesign their brand as they attract the next-generation work force.

2. Newcomers are rewriting the rules. Technological innovation, unique go-to-market strategies, demographics shifts, strategic partnerships and pricing practices continue to redraw the competitive landscape. Traditional companies notice the changes, but some companies are struggling to change the way they do business. Customers are less loyal and more fickle as more options present themselves for security solutions and lifestyle applications. In other words, good enough may be good enough.

3. The problem with Internet of Things is it’s becoming the Internet of Everything. Whether the concerns are related to security, connectivity, privacy, compatibility or longevity, the industry is facing numerous challenges. Manufacturers and service providers are grappling with regulatory standards and adoption for the home, business and industrial IoT segments, including significant investments in this expanding unchartered opportunity.

4. End users have an appetite for thoughtful security and lifestyle products that can be controlled from any mobile device, 24/7, easily and intuitively. Manufacturers and service providers need to collaborate better to deliver interoperability standards that connect products and services seamlessly and elegantly, especially for IoT and security applications outside of their own ecosystems. Simplifying the customer experience is critical in today’s complex world.

5. Traditional industry players need to learn how to be different in their marketplace rather than better, effectively breaking through the noise of commoditization and very short consumer attention spans. Focusing on what makes a company different will help gain market share and retain customers.

Ivan Spector: The Monitoring Association

1. Cybersecurity fears will continue to be a threat to the adoption of Cloud-based services.

2. Hiring skilled customer service agents will be a challenge and finding appropriate training will be difficult.

3. Expect even greater bundling of services as larger entrants seize on the stickiness of security systems based on customer loyalty and the trust factor.

4. Smaller players in the market will face increasing challenges cutting through the clutter and noise of new entrants’ offerings in order to get their messaging across.

5. Upgrading margins will be difficult to maintain in an era of price-savvy consumers.

John Brady: TRG Associates

1. As new entrants offer new technologies that create a more connected experience for consumers to provide a level of their own safety/surveillance and home/business protection, traditional security providers must adopt integrated solutions that enhance their current security/home automation solutions.

2. Industry participants that have 2G and 3G products deployed need to begin planning and executing on the transition to 4G/5G offerings as the sunset is coming faster than advertised.

3. Professional monitoring needs to work to further differentiate its services; the 911 community is very supportive, but the industry has to work harder on reducing the false alarm incidents.

4. The minimum wage movement that is being realized in state legislatures and large corporations [e.g., Amazon] will put real pressure on the wage scales at monitoring and care call centers and, in turn, on company margins.

5. Nonresponse initiatives will continue to challenge the industry beyond Sandy Springs, Ga., and other municipalities, but companies will respond with broader service solutions as they have in the past.

Blake Kozak: IHS Markit

1. The advanced level of connectivity necessary to facilitate smart buildings requires a capable master systems integrator, and most system integrators lack the knowledge and the capability to facilitate these integrations.

2. Smart buildings must centralize supervisory control over domains through a single building management system [BMS] platform to streamline building operations through a single source of commands. However, many suppliers of equipment in the energy and security domains are uncomfortable relinquishing any authority over their products to third-party BMS platforms.

3. For fire industry manufacturers, convincing consumers of the value of the newest fire technology. Building owners tend to be more price sensitive when it comes to a fire system in the building.

4. GDPR has increased consumer awareness of data privacy. Vendors who provide technology that collects personal data must have well-defined policies and processes for securing data.

5. How consumers define security is changing for the residential market, which is critical for professional alarm companies. For example, many consumers consider homes secure and protected if a few cameras are installed. In the past, a secured home would include motion sensors, door sensors, glass-break sensors and a professional monitoring contract. Consequently, device manufacturers and security providers will need to work to overcome the evolving perceptions of consumers in order to provide products and solutions at a price point acceptable to consumers.

You can download the full Gold Book here.

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