2015 Systems Integration Study: 94% of Integrators Bare Their Teeth

Download the full report of SSI’s 11th Systems Integration Study.

Security systems integrators are looking a lot like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary these days. Those toothy grins are entirely justified – and reflected in 94% of respondents’ outlooks being either outstanding or optimistic – according to Security Sales & Integration‘s 11th annual Systems Integration Study. Yet those bearing the scars of the fading recession and licking fresh wounds from hungry new competitors understand that no matter how favorable the landscape, there is no place in today’s security integration world for complacent fat cats. Management must continue to scratch and claw to guard their territory while stalking new prey. The most cunning will use the market intelligence here to pounce on those opportunities.

Conducted in cooperation with PSA Security Network, the International Security Conference (ISC), Security-Net and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), SSI‘s 2015 Systems Integration Study was distributed to thousands of security integrators nationwide. To be included, completed surveys had to meet the systems integrator criteria of installing primarily integrated video surveillance and/or access control systems, and the majority of accounts not being monitored burglary/fire alarm systems.

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The survey indicates not only did the industry’s overall revenue average increase quite nicely ($1.3 million) during 2014 but also more companies reported growth of at least 6% (39% of respondents vs. 35% in 2013). Meanwhile the bleak effects and fervent cost-cutting spurred by recent economic pressures have subsided in a major way. This is manifested by, among other things, fewer layoffs, an upswing in recruiting and higher compensation – which typically leads to better retention rates. That’s especially important in light of the study’s results showing a heightened push to land IT-educated talent.

That IT-centric trend is literally a logical consequence of technology’s advancement, particularly in electronic access control and video surveillance, areas in which the research digs deep. In both cases, devices and systems are increasingly being integrated and deployed on enterprise networks, and hosted services are demonstrating growing demand. For the first time, more than half the companies report offering access control as a service (ACaaS) and the percentage of those offering video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) more than doubled from a year ago.

Tuning more finely into the video picture reveals the average price charged for a surveillance system rose by $3,273. That is fueled by the average percentage of new video systems being IP-based jumping 10 points, and within that the percentage of IP cameras being megapixel models climbing 13 points. As well, network migration has led to a boost in conversion and accessory equipment, especially analog-to-digital encoders. The data also tracks vertical markets, and of particular note is residential’s ascension to the top of the surveillance heap.

Beyond security, the Systems Integration Study finds momentum building for expansion into business intelligence and Big Data, building automation, and managed IT/cybersecurity services. It’s time to let the cat out of the bag.

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