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Why Mass Notification Systems Are Trending Upward in Americas

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is projected to be a key market driver for MNS solutions.

DENVER — Mass notification system (MNS) software solutions used in emergency communications, the primary segment used during a catastrophic event, is on the rise in the Americas, according to a research note by IHS Markit.

The MNS software market is expected to grow in the Americas at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% from 2017 to 2021, reaching $293.1 million in 2021.

In the Americas, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes are occurring more frequently, so unimpeded mass communication during these events is critical, writes Robert Brooks, analyst, security and building technologies, IHS Markit.

MNS software is often employed so end users can communicate with their employees, federal agencies, university students and the general public. More channels of communication available in these types of events, means more people can reach safety faster and more lives can be saved.

FedRAMP to Drive Cloud-based Solutions

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is projected to be a key market driver for MNS solutions. FedRAMP is a United States government program providing a new standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for Cloud products and services.

While the certification is not mandated by law, Brooks writes, it will affect how software-as-a-service (SaaS) and Cloud vendors perform business with federal government agencies. Nearly all vendors in the MNS industry will switch to Cloud-based solutions, thereby increasing MNS software sales by the federal government.

Once a company is certified by FedRAMP, additional measures to buy or maintain vendors’ solutions is required, Brooks writes. This cost savings will appeal to many government agencies as they look at the total cost to own a system.

Reducing Human Error

There is an obvious and growing need for more user-friendly system interfaces. For example, during a regulated standard test of Hawaii’s emergency missile warning system in January, an employee selected the option to send out a full missile-defense alert, instead of choosing the test-cycle option.

While this is a dramatic example of human error, Brooks writes, there is a continuing need to improve the user interfaces of these systems to avoid unnecessary public panic in the future.

A Glance at European Market

Western European governments will continue to use on-premises or hybrid MNS solutions, due to being constrained by local laws and regulations surrounding the use of personal information and privacy.

A majority of Cloud-based MNS software market leaders are located in the U.S., which creates additional lag time for Cloud systems to be purchased in European countries.

Due to heightened terrorist activity in Europe, and with U.S.-based multinational companies moving to Western Europe, the MNS software emergency communication market in EMEA is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% from 2017 to 2021, reaching $41.6 million in 2021.

In Western Europe, the second-largest market for MNS software, weather-related incidents occur less often, so the need for MNS software is lower than in the Americas. While individual countries might deal with specific weather threats — like blizzards and freezes in Sweden and flooding in the U.K. — in 2017 the U.S. alone experienced four major hurricanes.

Increasing acts of terrorism across Western Europe and North Africa during the past two years have forced central governments to investigate new and innovative ways to keep the general public safe, Brooks writes. While most investment goes toward security cameras, access control, security doors and perimeter security, some governments will also choose to buy MNS software to facilitate communication between first responders and security teams.

Privacy issues need to be addressed on a country-by-country basis, including the location of servers hosting Cloud-based platforms. In Germany for example, MNS software providers must comply with the “German work first” rule. This rule was implemented by the German government, because it did not want any German citizen’s information to be contained outside the country.

Each country in the European market has different rules about hosted systems, which adds another layer of complexity to selling cloud-based systems in Europe, Brooks writes.

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