ASIS Int’l President Eduard Emde Discusses 2012 Threats to the Industry

What does 2012 hold in store for your business and the industry? Find out with the many insights offered in SSI‘s annual Industry Forecast, which is featured in our January issue. This year, more than 25 of the industry’s most prominent research firms, trade associations, business and finance specialists, systems integrators, manufacturers, consultants, and alarm companies rendered a deep and sweeping portrait of the impending security landscape. The participants addressed the most significant changes, challenges and opportunities they anticipate taking place during the next 12 months in seven critical areas. They are: security technology; security markets; security industry; business and operations; politics and legislation; risks and threats; and ongoing challenges. With the boundaries of print being too constrained to present all of the fascinating and valuable assessments, each of the respondents’ complete, edited interviews are being offered exclusively online. Happy New Year!

Eduard J. Emde, CPP
ASIS Int’l

Security Technology

Eduard Emde: Security technology will continue to evolve and develop at an outstanding pace. Some of the most significant innovations will bring about increased interconnectedness of security systems. The integration of security and other management systems will advance and introduce change, challenge and opportunity for all within the channel — vendors and users. A growing trend toward miniaturization will likewise present very positive developments and open up new avenues for those offering products and services to the market globally.

Security Markets

Emde: Irrespective of the economic conditions and ongoing developments in markets around the globe, the pressures of doing more with less will remain very much felt by security practitioners, and in turn those who service their security needs. The most forward-looking organizations will actively seek business models where many operational aspects and functions are managed by service providers. Some will continue to work within a local or regional scope. In either scenario, there will be a dramatic need for suppliers and service providers to increase the level and quality of their security expertise and security project management knowledge, skills, and abilities. There will also be a need for high-quality standards of both a technical and professional practice perspective.  

Security Business and Operations

Emde: For security suppliers and dealers, the challenge will be to develop and deliver high-quality solutions that go beyond a single product or service to present tangible, long-term added value. Any solution that can contribute to and directly enhance the efficiency of routine business processes will be a premium. System solutions that offer means for profit generation or that extend a significant market differentiator for the user further expand opportunities for the supplier or dealer in the future.

Security Industry

Emde: Globalization will continue to thrive, bringing many new challenges and opportunities for all within the security industry. Organizations will continue to grow and expand their operations around the world. New operational efficiencies will continually be sought after, as security works to manage and mitigate risks in their people, property and information across the continent, and around the globe. Additionally, the ongoing consolidation trend will once again impact the industry into 2012.

Politics and Legislation

Emde: Privacy will continue to present some of the most significant challenges from a political and legislative perspective. The need for increasingly higher levels of security will persist. The rights of individuals and organizations will be called into question. While the degree of regulation is not anticipated to decrease, there is opportunity for strengthening as political actions are often driven by specific incidents. Several large data breaches, for instance, have led to the introduction of new regulations regarding the way in which businesses acquire, store and maintain customer data.

Risks and Threats

Emde: Cyber risks, which presented so demonstratively in 2011, will in all likelihood have unexpected impact on organizations — both public and private — in 2012. More than ever before, it is crucial for manufacturers, service providers and users from across the security industry to openly dialogue and exchange challenges, needs, and requirements. Specific security products and services are called for not only to meet current security demands, but in anticipation of future requirements. ASIS is keenly aware of the importance of threats of this nature and has established a partnership with (ISC)² to further examine and explore various aspects of cyber security with our professional counterparts in IT security. In 2011, (ISC)² colocated its first annual Security Congress with our Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Orlando. Members of both organizations recognized tremendous value from the collaboration. Throughout 2012, our organizations will continue to work together on education and networking initiatives, including, once again, the colocation of the (ISC)² second annual Security Congress with ASIS 2012 in Philadelphia Sept. 10-13.  

Ongoing Challenges

Emde: Some parts of the market will remain quite price sensitive into 2012. Unfortunately, this may at times hinder the potential for growth and development of higher-quality solutions and limit the possibilities to maintain the current level of quality. 

Projecting 2012

Emde: At this point in time, there is a sense that the economy may have reached a turning point of sorts. Time will tell if this is a reality. It is, however, more likely that there will be a stabilization of the economy. This will create an excellent opportunity for suppliers and dealers to reach out to users and to improve their understanding of the security and business needs of organizations. As mentioned previously, there remains an objective among users to “do more with less.” Suppliers and dealers can expand their opportunities in the New Year by increasing their knowledge, strengthening their skills and creating clear, value-driven solutions.

Final Thoughts

Emde: To reiterate, security risks associated with information technology and network integration are paramount for organizations today. As manufacturers and dealers look to innovate and grow their businesses in the coming year, it is essential to deliver integrated solutions that foremost address the cyber risk elements of security systems and services.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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