Security Experts Predict Industry Challenges for 2018
Industry leaders and analysts from The Monitoring Association, PSA Security Network and more predict challenges the security industry may face in 2018.
In the latest edition of SSI‘s Gold Book, we asked six security experts for their top five trends from 2017. A few trends everyone could agree on were putting more emphasis on cybersecurity and the blending of DIY security.
In this article, experts share what they expect will be challenges facing the security industry in 2018. Check out their answers below and then download the full Gold Book here.
1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will be at the epicenter of changes in physical security as a service (PSaaS), security robotics and biometric solutions. It will present a number of challenges to our industry relative to cybersecurity and data protection and true integration of disparate systems, but will also feed the best-in-class systems integrators who leverage the technology to improve their service offerings.
2. Cybersecurity liability will become a huge topic and we will see much more legal and government action regarding future cybersecurity breaches.
3. DIY systems will continue to grow rapidly in the residential space and tech-savvy Millennials will impact a larger portion of the light-commercial base, eroding market opportunity for small integrators. Integrators will need to find creative ways to work with DIY through original monitoring packages or managed service bundling to stay in business.
4. Finding qualified employees and retaining top talent will continue to be a challenge in 2018. Millennials will make up about 50% of the workforce in 2018 so the industry will have to rely on strong training programs and creative recruitment strategies to combat misconceptions about the industry to bring in the next generation of security professionals.
5. Keeping on top of technology advancements will be a challenge for all industry professionals. Robotics, Cloud-based services, mobile/portal security solutions and advancements in video analytics are going to move fast and the gap between those integrators who are leading the way with these solutions versus those who are following will be very small.
1. Hiring of technical installation and IP-based skillsets continues to be the greatest challenge for growing security companies.
2. Working with local AHJs to combat false alarms takes on renewed emphasis to help preserve our position in the marketplace.
3. Maintaining RMR prices as the industry transitions to new cellular offerings and change out equipment will be more difficult going forward given the competitive offerings.
4. The compensatory Limits of Liability in customer contracts will increase to maintain relevance and enforceability in court systems of this key contractual protection.
5. Valuations will be greatly impacted by the pending public offering results of some of the larger security providers in the market.
1. Employers need to rethink their hiring strategies and focus on attracting candidates who are aligned with their company’s vision, values and purpose, rather than just their previous accomplishments.
2. Shifting consumer expectations challenge the industry as big brands and start-ups continue to bring disruptive technologies and services to market. Dealers’ future success will be determined by choosing the right products and services, being sold at the right time, to the right customers, and in the right markets, and delivering an exceptional customer experience.
3. Cybercrimes will continue to threaten the industry, whether the attacks are focused on devices at a client’s site or infiltrating a monitoring station. Hackers are seeking new methods to gain access, steal data and make money from the vulnerable.
4. New entrants are training consumers to shop differently and expect more for less, which will have a profound impact on traditional industry growth and long-term retention.
5. Short-term consumer contracts, communications technology, pricing compression, on-demand monitoring, creation multiples, and product and service offerings play a major factor into buyers’ valuation methodology, which are all beginning to contribute to downward pressure for acquiring RMR contracts.
1. Although we have started to see engagement from the financial community regarding month-to-month monitoring agreements, it will be up to industry players to stay focused on best practices and maintaining suitable metrics to keep the financial players interested in accepting this possible new way of doing business.
2. Education to allow legacy technicians from the industry to rise up and embrace the digital world that currently drives the industry. Additionally, with the great growth the industry must attract more IT-centric talent to assist with this movement to take the industry to the next level.
3. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges and defending against vulnerabilities continues to be a growing challenge given the growth of connected systems and other IoT proliferation.
4. With DIY becoming a more prevalent sector of the industry, and with the well-known consumer branding that seems to accompany this growth, independent dealers need to stay smart in gaining from this trend and not losing. Although this trend expects to result in more expansion than erosion, dealers need to be smart and not stick their heads in the sand.
5. The use and adoption of remote video continues to grow; many options exist for dealers and monitoring providers. It is very important that organizations engage in this area while staying smart on how they move forward. Technology has given the industry players many choices toward succeeding in this sector.
1. Cybersecurity of video surveillance remains the biggest challenge. Greater education of best practices for system design needs to be combined with vendors having a fully developed strategy of addressing vulnerabilities.
2. Integration of access, video and intrusion under one system is gaining interest from commercial end users; however, the costs of integration can be very high, particularly with when merging new and older technologies.
3. Location-based services are in high demand but there are some drawbacks. There is low adoption from end users because of privacy concerns and a lack of willingness to download MNS applications to mobile devices. Also, there are issues when a user is in a country with strict Internet regulations.
4. As building automation systems (BAS) rely more on software programs to perform analytics and as more of these systems are connected to hosted software through Internet networks, concerns of system vulnerabilities and cyberattacks have grown. Many BAS products transmit unencrypted data through unprotected open protocols, creating a potential entry point for hackers.
5. Security dealers may find themselves in a peculiar position as more DIY systems are deployed combined with professional monitoring, putting pressure on channels that have been well established for decades.
1. The focus on the user experience must be a priority in order to maintain attrition rates as low as possible.
2. Entry of disrupters into our industry will continue and new strategic alliances will impact the traditional dealer network.
3. Hybrid DIY with on-demand professional monitoring will be an opportunity; however, it will be an operational top-heavy model.
4. Price points will continue to drive the commoditization of the residential market.
5. Staying ahead of rapidly changing technology and the continued investment required will drive smaller, full-service companies to consider alternatives such as outsourcing monitoring or moving to a hybrid model.
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