15 Mar 2021

Editor Introduction

Security technology has been a vibrant and successful market for decades now, but sometimes the public is not aware of those successes. Awareness in some cases is limited because security technologies work ‘behind the scenes’ to keep everyone safe.

In other cases, the industry may be seen in a negative light, based on misinformation about topics such as surveillance and privacy. How can we get the word out about our industry’s successes? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can the security industry market and promote itself better?

Over the past few years, the security industry has begun to outgrow its own borders and has moved beyond traditional security and safety functions. Much of this expansion has been fueled by increasing computing power, AI, and the growing data richness of sensors – coupled with hyper-connected IoT infrastructures. This has opened up opportunities in emerging fields such as smart buildings and cities, and the ability to offer operational intelligence and interactive applications, instead of simple surveillance. As a result, the industry is tasked with redefining and repositioning itself by actively promoting these new and emerging fields of use. We need to find new inroads to the C-Suite level, develop value propositions that appeal to functions other than those that traditionally managed security and safety technology, and enter new communication channels. With all this, the vocabulary will also need to change – no longer confined by the labels ‘security and safety.’

Andrew Elvish Genetec, Inc.

The physical security industry has traditionally been seen as an operational necessity, a function within an organisation that was mostly focused on protecting people and assets. In the past, access control and video surveillance were built to perform very specific security functions: keep an eye on the good people and don’t let the bad guys in. However, this limited perception still exists, and does great disservice to the true ingenuity, creativity, and technical savvy that is consistently demonstrated by our industry. Physical security infrastructure involves a massive network of connected sensors that requires highly sophisticated technology, a robust IT and cybersecurity strategy, and demands thoughtful cooperation across every function of an organisation. During the last few months in particular, the physical security industry has provided strategic tools in the fight against the pandemic, once again broadening its role beyond traditional security. It’s time to tell that story.

Customer service, highly trained experts and an integrated platform are the difference-makers. We need to acknowledge that evolving technologies and a massive playing field of standalone devices make it challenging for the average person to know where to start. As service-oriented providers, our teams of professionals are readily available resources for consumers who want to know how these solutions help, not necessarily how they work. With large corporations and new entrants to the market offering lower-cost systems and notifications instead of pro monitoring as alternatives, it’s important that we continue to drive home the value of professionally monitored and installed solutions. If a customer has a question or something goes wrong, they know exactly who to call. In addition, security providers can market turnkey solutions and concierge service that better ensure the end-users privacy, offer enhanced security measures like two-factor authentication and provide technology-forward solutions powered by analytics and machine learning.

Looking forward, the security industry has a lot of opportunities in the coming months and years, because many of our functions and features have become relevant to the general public and continue to see mainstream coverage. Different functions, such as access control, people counting solutions and crowd detection for enforcing social distancing are being considered for use in industries and markets far outside of just security. The security industry should now be notifying general use industries about these technologies and educating them on what they have to offer - which is intelligent solutions to solve delicate problems.

Editor Summary

The success of the security technology market is expanding beyond the vocabulary that describes it. New enterprise departments are benefiting from ‘security’ in new ways. It is likely that the public views security too narrowly. Clearly it will take more effort to get the word out. We have a story to tell. Now let's tell it.