Security Dealers Can Thrive in Internet of Things

CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux discusses technology trends, opportunities for installing security contractors in the residential market and more in the latest Hot Seat Q&A.

Todd Thibodeaux is president and CEO of CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association that provides vendor-neutral professional certifications for the IT industry. Since its founding in 1982, the organization has become a leading voice for the technology ecosystem. Thibodeaux joins the conversation to discuss related technology trends, opportunities for installing security contractors and more.

What are the drivers for IT services in the residential market?

Everything that can be connected will be connected. This is the essence of what is known as the Internet of Things. There is a steady march to enhance the utility of devices, objects, structures and even people through connectivity, network effects and intelligent functionality.

This melding of things is extending into the physical security realm in both the commercial and residential markets. The use of video surveillance as a key component of security systems has exploded over the past few decades. It is these cameras that are driving the transition in the physical security world from analog to IP-based digital technology. Other elements of physical security – access control, intrusion detection, fire detection, alarms – will also make the transition eventually.

Can physical security companies carve out a successful niche as providers of these services?

Physical security companies have inherent advantages that will continue to open opportunities for them. They have a track record of delivering solutions that they know how to market, sell and service very well. Many customers, especially those with small installations where advanced security and analytics are not required, are likely to be satisfied with the status quo.

But the shift from legacy analog systems to standards-based IP networks is opening doors for new entrants; principally IT solution providers who have cut their teeth in the universe of data and networks. The rapid growth of cloud computing solutions as a viable and affordable option for digital content storage also plays into the hands of the IT solution provider. The cloud also allows them to sell beyond security – in areas such as storage, networking and infrastructure.

For security integrators who obtain the necessary IT skills, can you touch on some opportunities that Big Data could likely provide moving forward?

The high-resolution video capabilities present in today’s cameras can enable advanced video analytics in areas such as identification, behavior analysis and traffic flow. Beyond the video elements, here are a few other areas of big data that may generate customer demand: search capabilities across a firm’s data sources; predictive analytics; customer profiling and segmentation analysis; and data visualization.

About the Author

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Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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