Why Security Will Rise From Coronavirus Ashes
It’s important to remember amid the virus-inflicted economic downturn, security is about as recession-proof an industry as anyone might speculate about.
From both business and personal standpoints, these have been strange and challenging times for all of us, some of course more than others. Personally, my heart goes out to those most directly impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
Professionally — layoffs and furloughs notwithstanding (to whom my heart also goes out to) — this ordeal I believe underscores what a strong, vital and resilient industry all of us as security practitioners are fortunate to be a part of.
Those in the know understand those virtues are among the qualities that ought to draw many more talented young people to careers in security, but that is another topic. Here, I wanted to offer some words of support and encouragement by reminding everyone that, amid the virus-inflicted economic downturn, security is about as recession-proof an industry as anyone might speculate about. Or as I like to say, there is security in security.
It is not immune to market volatility but it is certainly more stable than most; so recession resistant is perhaps the most accurate descriptor. This is because when money flows, people, businesses and other organizations spend money on security and security-related solutions; and when things dry up, the haves continue to allocate funds to security to safeguard resources and assets from the have-nots.
Furthermore, humans’ basic need for security and safety remain relative constants throughout any Wall Street rollercoaster rides. While from a societal perspective it is a shame, according to some reports, that crime spiked in places, it is another opportunity for security dealers, integrators and monitoring providers to deliver solutions.
During these daunting times, you and your company can come through heroically to help combat such crime and at the same time maintain profitability.
In cases where existing or prospective clients may be financially strapped due to the crisis, your company can foster long-term brand loyalty throughout the communities it serves by extending payment plans or offering more value-add services. Doing so will also boost morale within the ranks for being associated with an empathetic employer.
An additional opportunity I want to highlight is how having end-user facilities or areas on lockdown could be taken advantage of from a security stand-point.
Being able to freely access typically busy locations unimpeded by people, crowds or schedules can provide ideal circumstances to upgrade, install or service devices, systems and solutions without disruption. Those factors could dramatically reduce the time to complete projects — and help keep a security provider’s personnel busy.
It’s true that some organizations may be experiencing cash-flow issues, but again that could be a way to work even more closely with them as a caring partner.
Two security technology areas I expect to see surge in the outbreak’s aftermath are spotlighted in the May issue of SSI: access control and robotics. A third would be adding human temperature sensing to video surveillance.
Regarding access control (see this year’s Deep Dive study), there figures to be a rush for solutions, probably integrated with biometrics, that can track infected people and keep them from entering “clean” zones.
Robots (and drones), on the other hand, will be increasingly used for tasks that place humans at exposure risk. Cobalt Robotics CEO Travis Deyle (see his May article) elaborates: “Much like 9/11, COVID-19 will forever change the world of physical security. Organizations are slowly settling into a ‘new normal’ — reevaluating workplace safety and security in the recessionary, work-from-home era. There’s no better time than now to learn about robot security services — it’s frequently better and cheaper than manned guards and robots don’t exacerbate disease spread.”
Whichever way you and your company navigate the present climate and emerge on the other side (yes, “normalcy” is just around the corner — hopefully a lot closer since this was written) I urge continued outreach to maintain an ongoing connection with customers and the marketplace.
Make use of email, websites, social media, text messaging, U.S. Mail and even phone calls. Remind them you are working through challenges just like they are and eager to help provide peace of mind. For now, I continue to wish you, your family and business the best of health and outcomes.
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