Top 5 Trends Security Experts Observed in 2019

Industry leaders and analysts from PSA Security Network, The Monitoring Association and more examine what influenced the security marketplace in 2019.

Top 5 Trends Security Experts Observed in 2019

Security Sales & Integration‘s Gold Book will go the way of the dodo bird following the 2020 edition. Why, you may ask? Although it did hang in there quite a while, the publication’s utility was undermined by the Internet, with its fate sealed by the proliferation of mobile devices that connected people with the world from anyplace at any time.

It’s a similar arc to the Yellow Pages and other commercially produced phonebooks, along with the dwindling page count to boot.

But don’t fret, the 2020 edition is here to set you on a successful path for the next decade and beyond. Throughout the month we’ll be sharing facts and insights from the final Gold Book. Below, experts each share the top five trends they observed in 2019.

Bill Bozeman: PSA Security Network

1. Managed services continued to permeate the security industry. In 2019 there was a shift in ideology of managed services from disparate vendor solutions to an overall platform encompassing all areas of security.

2. Security solutions harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) flooded the marketplace. From cybersecurity to video surveillance, we’ve seen impressive new technology at PSA that we believe will help integrators and manufacturers make better use of data.

3. Organizations now have employees ranging from Gen Z to Baby Boomers in their workforces. As the security industry moves to attract a younger talent pool, organizations are rolling out benefits like work from home, flexible schedules, increased professional development, focus on overall wellness, etc., to remain attractive and competitive employers.

4. Everyday adoption of Cloud-based technologies greatly expand-ed in 2019. Security integrators and end users alike are becoming more comfortable with the capabilities and security of the Cloud.

5. Government regulations continued to have a significant impact on our industry. The use of TSA-tested and approved biometric and facial recognition solutions that speed up airport check-ins; the rulings and decisions by federal government agencies on acceptable and secure product offerings; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its suggested framework for cybersecurity and cyber hygiene standards, are just a few examples.

Blake Kozak: IHS Markit

1. Mobile credentials emerged as a viable alternative to physical credentials in the electronic access control market. Over four million mobile credentials were downloaded worldwide in 2018, and the global market is projected to grow at over a 100% average annual growth rate over the next five years to reach over 120 million downloaded credentials by 2023. Mobile credentials are not expected to replace their physical counterparts in most access control systems, but many end users have begun to explore allowing building entrants to choose to use mobile applications on their cell phones instead of swiping badges or cards to gain access to their buildings.

2. Competition in the intrusion alarms industry became fiercer and more diversified. DIY equipment providers have been introducing products designed for professional installers while professional security companies introduced DIY versions of some of their professional security systems. The telco industry has been actively targeting residential customers with smart (home) security products by either adding security products to their offering or developing smart device platforms to create an ecosystem able to support a wider range of interactive services.

3. 2020 will be the year of the embedded deep learning application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) system on a chip (SOC). SOCs designed with deep learning accelerators for network cameras will be capable of performing the basic processing required for deep learning analytics to run on the camera, without the need for additional processing power. The ASIC SOCs will be beneficial for large-scale production aimed at the price-sensitive mass market. Established semiconductor giants and smaller start-ups are developing ASICs for use in deep learning-enabled cameras increasing competition in this area.

4. The gradual move to video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) has continued. At the same time, the number of vendors offering VSaaS solutions has also been increasing. However, while most VSaaS customers have so far been small businesses such as quick serve restaurants, some of the new VSaaS solutions are targeting large and enterprise installations in an effort to broaden their appeal.

5. For the smart home, digital assistants are taking on new form factors. From eyeglasses to WiFi mesh routers, digital assistants are moving beyond the speaker form factor. Although smart speaker shipments in North America are forecast to slow to single digits starting in 2021, digital assistants will continue to permeate through the home. For instance, many brands have recently been demonstrating prototype smart home devices that can be controlled by voice, locally. This means that assistant will soon start to be used for specific use cases, to control specific devices, using machine learning and natural language processing — not just to play music or ask random questions. Meanwhile, the smart speaker format is seeing entirely new use cases, such as partnerships with ADT, for sound analytics and healthcare organizations like UCHealth.

George De Marco: Deco Ventures

1. As evidenced since the dawn of the electronic security industry, false alarm dispatches negatively impact police resources and end-user experience. There are services available that provide greater clarity into the cause of the alarm by assessing Big and Little Data from connected devices, such as alarm system sensors, cameras, thermostats, mobile devices, smart-speaker interfaces, etc., that will grade the threat level associated with the alarm activation. Using end-user apps and the associated data, monitoring centers will be able to deliver a better solution that can greatly reduce false alarm dispatches.

2. AI and deep-learning capabilities, especially when driven to the edge, are delivering powerful solutions, both for people and organizations. Cameras today can be utilized for multipurpose solutions, whether for safety and security, driving operational efficiencies and profitability or predicting trends. By night the camera is Superman, by day, it’s Clark Kent.

3. Cybersecurity is top of mind with everyone, everywhere. The blending of physical and logical security is finally becoming a reality, as more seemingly innocuous connected devices and legacy systems are creating pathways for hackers to penetrate networks. Manufacturers have a huge responsibility in limiting the risks associated with cyberattacks. Establishing proactive technology roadmaps, coupled with industry standards, will help secure data from hackers.

4. Monitoring is more than just for security and life-safety sensors in a protected premises. As location-based services, drones and wearables become more accepted, the boundaries of a physical location will be pushed far beyond the traditional perimeter for monitoring of people, places and things.

5. Although there is much ado about privacy concerns, consumers leave a digital footprint behind as they travel through their daily activities using mobile devices, connected vehicles or other digital interfaces. As more behavioral information is captured, the data can be used to figure out what people really want. This intelligence gathering can benefit the consumer by uncovering infrastructure improvements, delivering better security solutions and moving people and goods more efficiently.

Don Young: The Monitoring Association

1. Consumer recognition of the importance of professional monitoring. There is increasing awareness that professional monitoring companies have strong partnerships with insurers and public safety and that the safeguards provided by these tenured partnerships provide consumers an extra level of comfort and 24/7 coverage. However, professional monitoring is also adapting to more flexible services that offer monitoring-on-demand and advanced mobile and app-based services.

2. Integration with public safety ecosystems has gained traction. Whether through ASAP-to-PSAP or other new entrants, the security industry must provide better (verified and contextual) information, more efficiently to law enforcement, fire and EMS. The information provided to first responders helps determine the severity of an incident and to dynamically decide what level of resources to dispatch.

3. Increased focus on ANSI standards. End users want a single, easy-to-use application to interact with the services provided. Standards-driven connectivity and interoperability are proving crucial to creating and maintaining a quality end-user experience. Public safety and other partners also have no interest in integrating to dozens of different platforms.

4. Consumers are increasingly looking to protect everything that is important to them, regardless of where they are or what they are doing. This means extending protection for their families beyond just their home. Ever-advancing technological innovation is making this a reality.

5. Legislative activity that impacts our industry is increasing. TMA’s Government Relations committee reviewed over 900 pieces of legislation in 2019. These include legislation related to wages, apprenticeship programs, vocational education, alarm ordinances, licensing, robocalling and net neutrality.

Peter Giacalone: Giacalone Associates

1. Lenders took a much more disciplined approach to valuations and lending. This trend was likely a positive move, although certain companies that lacked focused disciplines may not agree. This has caused companies to take a more conservative approach toward reductions in creation costs and overall G&A.

2. With the obvious and well predicted sun-setting of 3G and the deterioration of legacy telephone services, we experienced an increase in the effort of migrating systems from dialup to wireless. Although this trend has been upon us for many years, it does appear that many are taking it much more seriously and are stepping up the effort to get ahead of this challenge for an increase in subscriber satisfaction and a reduction in attrition.

3. The great availability in current technology combined with the great magnitude in the growth by some select monitoring centers caused a great increase in the contraction and consolidation of monitoring centers. The new super centers have adopted a variety of technology and automation that makes it nearly impossible for the smaller traditional centers, both full service and wholesale, to compete. This trend has caused and continues to cause many centers both small and large to migrate to third-party partners. With the adoption of current technology this transition goes unnoticed by end-user subscribers. This is especially true for proprietary monitoring centers that provide monitoring and installations for themselves rather than using a professional security company. The transfer of liability along with cost saving is helpful in these decisions.

4. With each passing year we see large online retailers continue to grow. The value propositions seem to get better each year. The new entrants also grow with some slick technology and pricing that is sometimes very challenging to the traditional world. With this we are still experiencing more expansion than erosion of subscribers. This is something we will watch closely each year as it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

5. In addition to the rapid growth of PERS and mPERS, telehealth and aging-in-place monitoring seems to finally be making the move toward growth that many of us all expected. Between the adoption of new and more efficient technology along with the help of a variety of subsidies including Medicare, this segment is starting to mature and heading toward real breakout. The question that remains is who will take the lead in supporting and shepherding this great growth path.

John Brady: TRG Associates

1. The cellular carriers continued to reassure the industry the 3G sunset horoscope into 2022 is a reliable forecast for service connectivity as the industry gears up to “move to 4G/5G” with the help of the industry manufacturers.

2. The FirstNet nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders became an integral part of the professional monitoring offering. Quick adoption and clear messaging to the consumer of the strength and reliability of this new public safety network will be important as the industry continues to enhance its services to protect lives and property.

3. The capital markets continued to express a high level of interest in the life-safety industry despite challenges such as 3G expiration, alarm verification ordinances and rising minimum wages in multiple states. The lenders to this industry are reexamining the RMR leverage bandwidth they are lending at and reevaluating pricing as they refocus on the cash flow dynamics of the varied segments of RMR services.

4. Attrition moved up in 2018 over previous years but seemed to hold steady in 2019. 2G/3G transition became a new driver of RMR attrition as companies looked for ways to offer enhanced services as they transition the consumer to 4G/5G products.

5. Video services and analytics continued their march into becoming more important additions to a full-service intrusion and protection offering in the commercial marketplace.

You can download the full Gold Book here.

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