Round Table Expert Panel
Enterprise customers provide a large, and very lucrative, business opportunity for the physical security market. These customers include big global companies with plenty of revenue to spend and employees and facilities to protect. As a group, enterprise customers also tend to be a demanding lot, requiring systems that are large, scalable, that can operate across a wide geographic area, and that provide top-notch system performance. Enterprise customers set the standards of performance for the entire market, and they challenge manufacturers to up their game. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on the industry’s biggest customers: What are the security challenges of the enterprise market?
The new year presents new opportunities for the physical security marketplace. In many ways, 2018 will undoubtedly see further development of trends we saw in 2017. In fact, some of the trends determining the future of the physical security industry have been in place for many years. However, not every event in 2018 can be foreseen or easily predicted. To be sure, it is sometimes the surprises that keep life interesting! We asked this week Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security market’s biggest surprise in 2018?
The end of the year is a great time to take stock of one’s accomplishments during the year, and to reflect on successes and failures, where we are and where we’re going. 2017 brought a lot of change to the physical security market, but were the changes positive or negative? Our Expert Panelists tend to be a thoughtful and reflective group, so we wanted to get their thoughts and insights at year-end about 2017 in the security market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Was 2017 a good year or bad year for the physical security industry -and why?
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?
In recent years, information technology (IT) departments at end user companies have often been seen as adversaries of traditional security departments – or, at least, as a thorn in their side. One of the issues is territorial: As physical security products have migrated to use of Internet protocols and the network infrastructure, the IT and security departments have clashed – erm… make that interacted – more and more often. New realities such as cybersecurity have made it critical that the two entities work in harmony, and IT professionals often provide useful insights into product selection, among other issues. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the influence of the IT department on security purchases at an end user company?
It seems there are more “bad things” happening than ever before. We hear news every day of workplace shootings and terrorist attacks, of smash-and-grab thefts and child abductions. Beyond the possible human tragedy involved, such events pose a persistent question to anyone involved in the realm of security: Could we have prevented it? The first step toward prevention is to predict or foresee an event before it happens. Too often, technology enters the picture after the fact, most commonly the use of forensic video. Isn’t there more our industry can do before such events occur? We put the question to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can security systems be used to predict bad things before they happen?
We have been hearing about smart buildings for more than a decade, but the increasing profile of the Internet of Things (IoT) expands the possibilities for intelligent building systems and makes them even more attainable. Security is often among the “smart” functions of a building, and the capabilities of many physical security systems can contribute in new ways to building intelligence. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of “smart buildings” on the physical security marketplace?
Industry standards make it possible for systems and technologies to connect and work together. Standards enable today’s integrated systems. But does adherence to standards stifle innovation? Does the necessity to interface using an industry-wide standard slow down the implementation of newer (and possibly not standards-compliant) capabilities? Or do standards eliminate extraneous variables, empower more integration and encourage greater innovation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does the use of standards either stifle or jump-start innovation?
They call it “critical” for a reason. The so-called “critical infrastructure” is composed of the basic services that citizens have come to depend on, and which are necessary to support society and ensure national stability. The term includes high-visibility segments such as airports, refineries, transportation, wastewater, nuclear reactors, electric utilities, pipelines, and more. Because these functions are so critical, the stakes of providing security are higher than for any other market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of critical infrastructure facilities?
Products are the building blocks of systems and solutions. How those products are combined, and where the integration happens, is a variable in the physical security market. Before the advent of open systems, a single manufacturer typically combined his own products, using proprietary connections, into end-to-end solutions for customers. Open systems undermined that paradigm to some degree and made it possible for customers to pick and choose products from multiple manufacturers to be integrated into a solution. Lately, the pendulum has again swung toward “system solutions,” or end-to-end systems provided by a single manufacturer … Or has it? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is the industry shifting from a focus on products to emphasising end-to-end solutions? How is that a good (or bad) thing?
Video systems today offer more capabilities than ever. Consequently, the systems can be used in new ways. For a variety of reasons, however, many customers don’t take full advantage of the capabilities of their video systems and therefore are leaving value on the table. Education and training are tools to alleviate the situation, but the first step is to identify the new ways that video can be used. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do customers under-utilise their video systems, and what should they do differently?
Companies in fast-moving industries tend to want half or more of their revenue to come from products released in the last three or so years. The logical extension of that philosophy is the demise of product "cash cows" that remain in a company's portfolio for many years. Where better to witness the shortening life cycles of technology products than in the smart phone market, where most of us buy into the hype of the "latest and greatest?" But does acceleration of new product introductions translate into shorter product life cycles in the field? We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is an acceptable life cycle for a physical security system? Is there a trend toward systems being replaced more, or less, often?
“Don’t try this at home.” It’s a common warning, but how does it apply to security systems? With today’s systems becoming easier to install, and with customers becoming more tech-savvy, there is a growing market for “do-it-yourself” or DIY home security systems. The trend also extends beyond the home security market: Business end users may also think they can forgo a professional installer and handle installation in-house. The customer may save money by installing a system, but at what risk? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the pitfalls of “do-it-yourself” when it comes to security systems?
Remarkable changes are happening in the video camera market for surveillance applications, including the emergence of lower-priced products that offer features that previously were only available at a much higher price point. Deflating prices of cameras are sometimes referred to as a “race to the bottom” – foreshadowing a market of low-cost cameras that all provide similar features. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to comment on camera pricing trends and how customers can continue to find real value in the changing environment. Specifically, we posited: Lower-cost cameras have more features than ever. Why should a customer continue to buy “premium” cameras?
Measuring return on investment (ROI) has long presented a challenge to the security marketplace. Investment in security is often viewed as a necessary cost whose benefits cannot be measured. For example, how do you measure the value of an event that doesn’t happen (i.e., that has been prevented)? The difficulty of measuring ROI doesn’t diminish customers’ appetite for it, however. Today’s choosy customers are driven more than ever by the bottom line and expect any and all of their investments to show a healthy return. Therefore, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is it possible to measure return on investment (ROI) in the security market? How?