Capital One Survey: Technology Disruption Driving Security Industry M&A

A dealer survey conducted by Capital One at Connect 2018 found that keeping up with the pace of technology presents the biggest business challenge in 2019.

BETHESDA, Md. — A Capital One survey conducted at Honeywell Connect 2018 found that one-third of security professionals believe that keeping up with the pace of technology presents the biggest business challenge in 2019.

As technology innovation continues to re-shape the security industry, professionals also expressed a growing interest in acquisition facilities with 45% of respondents selecting them as the type of financing that will be the most important to their organization in the next 12 months.

“Technology is continuing to have a transformative impact on the security industry,” states John Robuck, Capital One’s managing director of security finance. “As the pace of change continues to increase, we are seeing many security businesses turning to acquisitions to drive additional scale or supplement existing capabilities, while others are looking to sell if they feel that they may not be able to effectively keep up.”

Capital One conducted the proprietary survey of conference attendees at Honeywell Connect 2018 in Marco Island, Fla., Nov. 15-16. Respondents included security system dealers and integrators, and other professionals who serve the security industry. Percentages are based on 111 responses.

Taking a backseat to technological change, customer attrition (25%) and decreasing margins (24%) were also selected as the greatest challenges facing industry professionals as they move into 2019. However, concern around decreasing margins dropped significantly over the past year — in 2017, 43% of executives cited decreasing margins as their greatest concern for the year ahead.

Those surveyed maintain an even-keeled perspective regarding specific technology innovations and trends that will be the most impactful to their businesses in the next 12 months. More than one-third of respondents (34%) elected video surveillance and managed video monitoring as the top innovation impacting the industry, with interconnected devices following closely behind at 32%.

Somewhat surprisingly, respondents believe DIY and self-monitored systems (22%) will be less impactful in the year ahead.

Underscoring this finding, when asked about competition in 2019, respondents elected DIY and self-monitored systems (16%) as posing the least competitive concern. Instead they ranked local and regional providers and national providers alongside each other as their primary competition (each at 33%, respectively) with cable and telecommunications companies coming in at 18%.

“Security professionals continue to be optimistic about the industry’s financial health overall,” says Robuck.

Four-in-five respondents expect better financial performance than today, while 19% anticipate it will remain the same.

“Although the industry may be evolving more quickly with each passing year, our team at Capital One is equipped to offer recommendations and counsel that help security professionals tackle key obstacles, like disruptive technologies and competition, and prepare for acquisition-type events that may require extra financial assistance,” says Robuck.

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