A Security Integrator’s Peek Inside an End User’s Mind

SSI’s Commercial End-User Study reveals nine in 10 security directors/managers are satisfied with their security provider, and eight in 10 laud security systems as force multipliers.

How well do you know your commercial clients’ and prospects’ corporate cultures, operations, challenges, needs, pain points and opportunities for improvement? If the answer is not “intimately” (particularly for larger customers), and you own or manage an installing security systems business, then prepare to be outflanked by more conscientious competitors. In return for investing limited and scrutinized funding, today’s end users expect and deserve security providers to invest the utmost attention in helping them realize their overall organizational objectives. They seek solutions partners and relationships they can count on. The good news is when properly structured this model also behooves the vendor.

To help security dealers and integrators be as prepared as possible to engage in those conversations, instill confidence and perpetuate a personalized approach, 10 years ago SSI launched the Commercial End-User Study. This extensive and unique research brings to bear the logistical pressures these customers face, and how they view security technologies and providers. Conducted in cooperation with SSI parent company EH Publishing’s end-user properties and ISC/Reed Exhibitions (for more, see Methodology box) – the 2014 Commercial End-User Study’s industry-exclusive data lends itself to being analyzed in myriad ways to render superior insights.

While the news is not great for those anticipating purse strings being loosened (six in 10 identified budget as the top security obstacle, up 10 percentage points since 2012), many positive and promising findings abound elsewhere. More than eight in 10 (84%) believe security systems can reduce manpower needs; 74% plan more security in the near term; and only 14% intended to reduce this year’s security budget. Some operational shifts of note include decreased confidence in level of safety; 78% ranking physical security as equal or higher priority than IT security; and owners/CEOs tied with security directors for security decision authority.

On the technology and systems front, video surveillance is asserting itself more than ever as the dominant area, with command centers and cloud services in particular piquing interest. Among the rising demand seen elsewhere was access control integration, smart cards, mass notification and heat sensors. In assessing their security providers, nearly nine in 10 expressed some level of satisfaction. And while cost was the leading knock, customer service complaints saw a sharper increase. Through vivid charts, graphs and captions, so much more awaits you just ahead.

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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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