Rise of Smart Devices, Interoperability Drives Demand for Security System Integrators

A key driver for the electronic security market in the coming years is how evolving products are interoperable with other technology in system design and use.

Mickey McCarter

The market for electronic security products will see modest growth through 2019, driven in part by a desire to integrate products in various market segments, according to a recent report sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA).

The report from the Freedonia Group, “Electronic Security Products,” (free for SIA members to download) does not attempt to measure the size of the systems integration marketplace. But it does note trends where increased interest in various services bolsters demand for certain kinds of security products.

Demand for electronic security products in the United States is projected to rise 7 percent annually through 2019 to $16.2 billion, said the report. Alarms, access control and video surveillance will continue to be the leading market segments through that time. Increased sales of products in these areas will occur in part due to the desire to integrate them, the report added.

“There has been a large shift in recent years toward integrating various electronic security systems, boosting the need for both systems integration services and electronic security products and systems that are flexible and capable of interoperating with other devices and systems,” the report noted.

“Such interconnected systems are capable of communicating with each other, allowing for wider collection and processing of data. The analysis of this data can be further utilized to provide feedback on the effectiveness of current systems, streamline operations, allow for mobile and cloud applications, and generally provide greater ease of use. As a result of this shift, legacy systems that are either less easily or entirely unable to be integrated into overall systems have seen falling favor, while interest in and demand for interoperable systems have grown rapidly.”

Furthermore, a rise in smart products for alarms, empowering operators to control their systems through mobile devices, will drive interest in commercial and residential products, according to the report.

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Similarly, opportunities to integrate components of access control systems will pave the way for adoption of new, sophisticated technologies by more organizations. “Access control systems that integrate increasingly advanced layers of credentials, such as mobile phones and biometrics, will support further gains,” the report said. “Rising consumer familiarity with biometric systems, driven by the use of biometric technologies in identification applications, will help promote demand for the small but rapidly growing biometric access control segment. Improvements in reliability and efficiency of biometric devices, coupled with falling prices, will further aid adoption.”

However, established products like basic intrusion alarms, smoke detectors, metal detectors and others will experience a decrease in marketshare in part due to their inflexibilities with regard to integration with other systems, the report said. At the same time, though, systems integration allows for adoption of other mechanical products that operators may want to pair with their security systems.

Speaking at SIA Securing New Ground (SNG) in New York City in October, Jennifer Mapes-Christ, Freedonia Group project director for the report, noted, for example, a new generation of workers who expect to do projects in green buildings. As architects design these buildings, they will also incorporate security systems in their designs from the first step of any new project (assisting in this is the recently revised SIA Standard AG-01, a collection of architectural graphics for security intended for use by those who employ CAD to produce construction drawings, shop drawings and installation/as-built drawings, and physical security system layouts.)

“Although integrated building controls were initially associated with large office, industrial, or commercial facilities, home automation systems have seen increasing availability and implementation in recent years, supported by innovations in smart utility metering and in Internet connections and smartphone applications that make these systems more accessible and user friendly,” the report noted. “These residential systems may involve remotely controlled or monitored appliances, heating and cooling systems, lighting, window shades, garage doors, alarms, access controls and surveillance systems.”

In these ways and others, the possibilities presented by integration and interoperability will increasingly become a driver for the sales of electronic security products in the years ahead.