What will be the security market’s biggest surprise in 2016?
Will 2016 see faster adoption of video analytics? Will cyber-security have more impact on physical security? Is the market likely to see greater use of cloud-based products and services? Will technology help to drive greater involvement by everyday citizens in public safety initiatives? Could the market focus shift from selling products to selling solutions?
We asked this week’s SourceSecurity.com Expert Panel to look ahead to 2016, and these were some of the surprises they see in our industry’s near future. Specifically, we asked this week’s panel: What will be the biggest surprise in 2016 for the security market?
While the security industry is not known for springing surprises, I think the biggest surprise of 2016 will be the speed at which certain segments of the physical security market adopt cloud-based products and services. Depending on the industry segment and use cases, users will adopt different variants of cloud services. Residential and SMB customers will embrace a pure cloud solution where video and data are streamed, stored in and accessed through the cloud. Other customers may choose a hybrid model, where some (generally higher quality) video and data are stored onsite and some in the cloud. At the other end of the spectrum will be users that store all their video and data onsite and allow cloud-based access for viewing, alerting and system management. Regardless of the model, cloud-based services will be an integral part of an increasing number of security systems.
One of the biggest surprises in the security market for 2016 may be the more rapid adoption and application of video analytics beyond physical security applications and into emerging areas of business intelligence. Systems integrators and their end-user customers are beginning to understand and leverage the technology more fully to provide meaningful business data. This information can be used to better understand customer demographics and interests and also enhance operations. In addition, the technology has become more mature, offering better accuracy and a simpler process for setting and managing rules and parameters for data capture. For systems integrators, video analytics are a way to differentiate their business from the competition while adding value for their end-user customers. Video analytics and the ability to more deeply cull data from surveillance streams can provide an array of benefits, including access to customer shopping patterns and other valuable intelligence.
For 2016 we see that customers face challenges like new means of identification, changing regulations and the impact of cyber-threats on physical security. As a security system is always used for the longer term, it is almost certain that new security requirements will be introduced during the service life of the system. Customers need to be able to meet new requirements without investing in an entire new system prematurely. Not only do they need a security system that is fully equipped to cope with the security requirements of today and tomorrow, they also need a supplier that continuously invests in its product and has an extensive partner network, so that companies are able to adapt their system anytime they need to. So we believe that the biggest surprise in 2016 will not be about a technology swift, but the need for good partnerships in this industry.
Information and data collection have become more accessible than ever before. In 2016, expect to see more information, more sensors and more apps for not only organisations and cities, but for the average citizen, as well. The general public is already able to access a multitude of information from their smart phones, such as weather, traffic and other potentially hazardous situations through alerts. Incidents occur daily within a city and citizens are essentially our “eyes on the street.” Officials are now realising the benefits of including citizens in public safety initiatives and allowing them to help public safety professionals address daily hazards, suspicious activities, natural disasters, terror attacks, crime or vandalism by reporting information in a convenient and accessible way using their smartphones, which is changing the physical security information management (PSIM) landscape.
The biggest surprise in 2016 will be a fundamental change in focus from selling products to selling solutions. The continued decline in prices for commodity items such as cameras and DVRs will drive this change. This price pressure is forcing manufacturers and integrators to focus on developing and selling solutions that provide value. These solutions have an RMR component and provide a range of value-added benefits to the end user. On the manufacturer side, the growing number of companies that now have a complete line of cameras, recorders, access control and cloud solutions is compelling evidence that the focus is shifting. Manufacturers will need to move to a solutions focus to retain margins and sustain profitable businesses, and integrators will also need to be solution focused and embrace cloud products and service agreements to generate RMR streams to make up revenue that used to come from higher markup of components.
Not surprisingly, the New Year will see the continuation of many themes that drove the physical security market in 2015. But in a dynamic, technology-driven market like ours, wild cards can emerge – can’t they? One of our panellists notes that the security market is not known for surprises, but then again, how can it be a surprise if we’re expecting it? SourceSecurity.com and the Expert Panel extend our wishes for a Happy, Prosperous and Safe New Year to all our readers, the industry as a whole, and every customer.
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