CSAA’s John Lombardi Considers How the Economy Will Affect the Industry in 2012

What does 2012 hold in store for your business and the industry? Find out with the many insights offered in SSI‘s annual Industry Forecast, which is featured in our January issue. This year, more than 25 of the industry’s most prominent research firms, trade associations, business and finance specialists, systems integrators, manufacturers, consultants, and alarm companies rendered a deep and sweeping portrait of the impending security landscape. The participants addressed the most significant changes, challenges and opportunities they anticipate taking place during the next 12 months in seven critical areas. They are: security technology; security markets; security industry; business and operations; politics and legislation; risks and threats; and ongoing challenges. With the boundaries of print being too constrained to present all of the fascinating and valuable assessments, each of the respondents’ complete, edited interviews are being offered exclusively online. Happy New Year!

John Lombardi
First Vice President
Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA)
CIA Security

Security Technology

John Lombardi: The industry is changing from a traditional circuit-switching technology to an IP-based technology. Along with the advent of new technology there are also new opportunities in the way we conduct our business, the services we provide and the method of delivery. One of the major challenges facing the industry is the evolving method of delivery and subsequent reliance on third-party vendors, and how that is adversely impacting the conventional control of the service provider. Security companies are fast becoming resellers or consumer distributors of product without having conventional control of that product. Additionally, the market is bearing more sophisticated means of communication requiring the support of an “icloud”-type industry. New opportunities will exist as significantly more efficient ‘smart’ decision making software is implemented. The software can be programmed to implement a standard operating procedure that will determine the desired disposition of an incident. “Situational awareness” software will become the industry norm, analyzing a variety of parameters before rendering and processing a preset logical outcome. This new technology integrated into building control functions will open new markets, provide a higher standard of security, and will be the new future of the industry.

Security Markets

Lombardi: The economic climate has forced the consumer to become very cautious when contemplating an investment. We hear more and more consumer analysis and their subsequent decisions being based on bottom-line cost as opposed to intrinsic value. Consumers want to ensure their investment be classified as a good long-term investment and alleviate the fears they considered when making the investment.

Security Business and Operations

Lombardi: The opportunities will be in the investments the market is willing to make in security systems in view of new threats, aging security systems and new regulatory reform. One of the challenges will be integrating comprehensive, cost-effective services and a reliable method of delivery. Another significant challenge will be addressing the shifting buying habits of the consumer. As an example, many corporations now have their IT departments design and install security systems. These systems are not designed with the highest level of security but rather they are based on economic, technological and convenience factors.

Security Industry

Lombardi: The opportunities will be in integrating forward technologies into our industry. The challenge will be in educating and maintaining technicians schooled in the installation and servicing of these technologies. Equally challenging will be instilling in the technicians the objective of treating this as a long-term professional career rather than a “job.”

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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