Top 10 Challenges Bound to Test Security Integrators

While the outlook on the security industry as a whole is very positive, that doesn’t mean there aren’t bumps along the way.

GIVEN that the latest results from 2016’s annual Systems Integration Study show educational and healthcare campuses as the No. 1 vertical markets for both access control and video surveillance, the timing could not be more perfect for SSI to focus on campus safety this month. The schools, colleges and hospitals category also tops the list for intrusion detection business sources. In all cases, that market has grown significantly as compared to a year ago, according to respondents.

The robust campus market is a just a kernel of the wealth of good news for security integrators as evidenced in the research. And by the looks of last month’s record-shattering ISC West, the industry at large is surging right now. Yet these positive indicators do not mean integrators are without their burdens, both legacy and emergent. In fact, oftentimes opportunities can bring about new challenges or make existing deficiencies that once seemed inconsequential or inconspicuous stand out like sore thumbs.

Nowadays in the business of security, the status quo is a no-no. The pace of technology, heightened competition and elevated customer expectations require that a provider possesses a responsive attitude, agility and necessary competencies to overcome challenges and be positioned for the best chance at success. This dynamic environment pushes people outside their comfort zone, particularly security veterans fitting the typical profile of being borderline obsessive where it comes to structure and predictability. And so when confronted with certain challenges, especially those related to today’s rapid change, many dig in their heels. The real rub is resisting challenge averseness while striking a balance between speed and prudence.

For me, the most vivid depiction of the natural human inclination to recoil from challenges has been raising my son. Amid avoidance, excuses, complaints, fits and sometimes tears, my wife and I remain steadfast with pushes – sometimes gentle, sometimes not so gentle – that hopefully prepare him to effectively deal with life’s many curveballs. As an only child, he has all the support and encouragement in the world, but also no necessity to compete with siblings for attention or resources. Not much difference between that scenario and an integrator whose past success has morphed into current complacency.

Find out what leads off the top 10 challenges (based on a 1-5 scale) as compiled from the Integration Study. I reached out to a few SSI Advisory Board members and contributors for ideas how to deal with this preeminent challenge.

With all the vibrant campus business, maybe firms can recruit some of the college students they are helping safeguard!

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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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