Good News, Bad News: What’s Better and Worse About the Security Industry in 2022

Looking to move beyond another challenging year, experts give their takes on the good (consumer awareness, interoperability) and the bad (pandemic problems, fuel costs).

As part of SSI‘s 2022 Security Industry Forecast, we spoke with more than two dozen experts to gain their insights into what 2021 holds for the security industry. Here, 14 of them also share what they believe is better and worse about the industry.

Here’s what they had to say…

Peter Giacalone| Giacalone Associates

GOOD: Consumer awareness and education continue to increase. This leads to a better informed and engaged subscriber while expanding the market to include new channels of educated prospects who may have not considered a system in the past.

BAD: Labor! Companies that increase compensation to buy their way into the market will likely experience margin pressures. To compound matters, supply chain shortages will likely be here for at least another year.

Mitch Reitman | Reitman Group

GOOD: As we emerge from the pandemic people will be frequenting businesses, causing an increased need for commercial systems. Since they will no longer be cooped up at home, there will also be a need for resi-dential systems.

BAD: Wage inflation and the tightening workforce could create havoc for small independents.

Clint Choate | Snap One

GOOD: Interoperability and Cloud services are more reliable. Also, the increased demand for connectivity and cycle of wealth generated the past 12-18 months will have homeowners spending to improve and protect their homes and families.

BAD: Supply chain and inflation. Demand has driven costs up combined with increased costs to produce. With labor shortages, we must pay employees more. These higher costs are then passed on the consumer.

Richard Brent | Louroe

GOOD: The industry is talking to each other more than ever before. We are seeing collaboration that brings new innovative ideas to the table.

BAD: Not having quality and experiential value to lead the industry is a sure way to fall behind. The rise of cheap manufacturing has undoubtedly hurt the industry.

Morgan Hertel | Rapid Response

GOOD: The level of need and awareness of security have never been this high before, if you can focus and apply good customer service it would be hard to fail.

BAD: Pandemic problems; hiring is much harder than before; supply chain woes.

John Mack | Imperial Capital

GOOD: Post-pandemic heightened awareness of security solutions across sectors and interest in premise control solutions. Also, the price of entry is declining, opening opportunities in new segments.

BAD: Supply chain problems can persist longer than expected and even good planning will not be able to mitigate the impact. Inflationary pressure could curb security system upgrades or taper end-user spending.

Aaron Saks | Hanwha

GOOD: Most people now recognize the importance of cybersecurity. Also, AI-based analytics have fundamentally changed the value proposition for security systems with operational insights beyond anything imaginable a few years ago. High megapixel cameras with incredible imaging are more affordable.

BAD: A pricing race to the bottom in certain markets. We’re also seeing fallout due to the NDAA and FCC ban. Some of those customers who bought on price alone are in a position where they’ll have to buy twice. Also, the effects of the supply chain are having ramifications.

Fredrik Nilsson | Axis

GOOD: More innovative, sophisticated and flexible technologies provide more creative, effective solutions. And they are multidimensional — addressing security challenges plus providing business intelligence and enhanced customer experiences. And today’s integrators and security practitioners have better online tools to assist in project planning, design, installation and offer remote maintenance and cyber hardening.

BAD: The pandemic-induced virtual environment has hindered us, keeping industry professionals from important meetings, essential onsite work and key tradeshow events. Along the same vein, our highly technical industry requires training that’s hands-on, in-person and often on-the-job.

Kirk MacDowell | MacGuard

GOOD: The industry is resilient. The laws of nature have proven true again. The weak have sold off at a deep discount and the strong have gotten stronger. If you’ve made it thus far, you can survive 2022 and beyond.

BAD: The industry has been so focused on the sunset that dealers have not focused on what their company should be in 2022. Companies need to take lessons learned during the pandemic to reconnect with consumers and upsell value-added services.

Eddie Reynolds | iluminar

GOOD: People have begun to think more outside the box. For example, the hard realization of not leaving our destiny to offshore manufacturing has caused a resurgence of solutions and ideas within our community. And working remotely has provided a better work/life balance.

BAD: Remote/virtual business generating is an obstacle to forming new, trusted partnerships. As we continue to implement social distancing measures to keep us safe, we do lose some important in-person human connection.

John Brady | TRG

GOOD: We nicely survived the impact of the pandemic’s early onset. Once again, the industry confirmed the “stickiness” of our services to the residential and commercial markets in very difficult times. New providers continue to enter the market.

BAD: Fuel costs won’t return to 2020 levels any time soon, and talent will get tougher to find and train.

Andrew Elvish | Genetec

GOOD: The government has taken long-needed action to ban untrustworthy devices to ensure the security of infrastructure technology. Also, with the rapid changes created by the digital transformation the true value of unified security solutions is coming to the forefront.

BAD: End users are not enough asking enough questions about the risks of closed, proprietary systems. This “Hostage as a Service” trend can be very dangerous to smaller end users who find themselves locked into a system that they will need to rip and replace.

Brian Wiser | Bosch

GOOD: Video analytics is improving because of AI capabilities, and new AIoT software supports informed decision-making by consolidating and augmenting data from multiple cameras. Users can establish a decision center using software, giving them a single, clear dashboard for evaluation.

BAD: The pandemic created a fear of being in close proximity to other people. The adoption of new technologies is often dependent on integrators and end users seeing the technology in action, so this could slow acceptance and innovation.

George De Marco | DECO

GOOD: The industry remains resilient, proving that security services are important to end users, whether for homes, businesses or government agencies. Also, consumers and businesses now have a higher degree of interaction and engagement with our technologies and services.

BAD: As a result of supply chain and labor shortages, dealers and integrators will experience a profit squeeze unless price increases for products and services are implemented. And as cities and municipalities implement or consider budget cuts for police services, the fallout may result in a more limited alarm response capacity.

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