Cloud Brightens Integrator Outlook

Cloud-based, or hosted, services are among several newer technologies leading security integrators out of the recession. SSI‘s seventh annual Systems Integration Study shows renewed optimism amid rising returns paced by leading-edge offerings such as managed access control and high definition video. However, the data also details some lingering stagnation.

Almost 50 percent of security systems integrators report increased revenues from 2010 operations, compared to 29 percent a year prior. Those seeing a significant decline in revenue tumbled from 32 percent to 16.9 percent, and 35 percent of all firms posted higher gross margins. No wonder many of them believe the recession is surely, if slowly, subsiding — and why more than 71 percent of integrators have an optimistic or outstanding business outlook for 2011.

Those were just some of the telltale results of SSI‘s seventh annual Systems Integration Study. The latest survey — initiated in February by Bobit Business Media’s Research Department with support from ISC organizers Reed Exhibitions and PSA Security Network — was distributed to thousands of systems integrators nationwide. Of the 363 completed surveys submitted, 213 met the systems integrator criteria as installing primarily integrated video surveillance and/or access control systems, and the majority of accounts not being monitored burglary/fire alarm systems.

The research further shows that while the dark economic clouds are beginning to clear, the financial forecast remains somewhat foggy. This is evidenced by the majority of integrators reporting flat overall gross margins, with drops in the prices charged for both access control and video surveillance systems. Plus, both managerial and frontline salaries for the most part plummeted.

However, the impact of newer and cloud-based technologies along with their promise of future growth is also prominent. Almost 40 percent of integrators are offering managed access control and averaging 15-percent growth in those services. But video continues to be the industry’s shining beacon. Highlights include 30-percent growth in IP camera sales; a 37-percent gain in megapixel devices; and 38 percent of projects now feature VMS- and/or PSIM-based solutions.

Click here to view SSI‘s seventh annual Systems Integration Study.

For additional charts from the study, see Scott Goldfine’s “Retail Intrusion Market Roars Back, New Research Shows” blog.

Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent more than 12 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125.



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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