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Spike in global safety concerns impact security industry

Spike in global safety concerns impact security industry
Among the numerous sentiments that have floated across the globe this year, a significantly common theme was “fear.” To be more precise, an increase of it.
Among the numerous sentiments that have floated across the globe this year, a significantly common theme was “fear.” To be more precise, an increase of it. A quick scan of global media reports over the year would show reasons for it too. 

From the rise of terrorism and war-induced migrant crisis to modern technological developments that have spiked privacy concerns, 2015 has seen the world struggling to come to terms with the fact that security is indeed an issue that has to be dealt with. 

This is evident in market analyses too. A recent report from Transparency Market Research showed that the global physical security market will expand at a healthy CAGR of 14.9 percent from 2013 to 2019, driven by growing security concerns around the world and accelerating budget allocation for physical security by governments.  

Various events contribute to a general increase in security-awareness

security violations raise concerns
Issues like terrorism and migrant crisis
have hiked demand for security products.
The security industry is not oblivious to the rising safety concerns and its potential to boost market demand. Major security solutions providers, who have all seen their revenues rise this year, acknowledge the fact that there is an increased awareness on the need to be protected that has boosted demand for sophisticated security systems. 

“Certainly the continued high threat level in many of our major markets such as the U.S., Middle East, and Europe is resulting in the continued review of security policies and systems, particularly within the corporate enterprise and public sector spaces,” said Brian Song, MD at IDIS Europe. “This is compounded by many high profile cyber-attacks, and so organizations are looking for a very high level of resilience from their network surveillance solutions.” 

Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Business Development and Marketing at Magal Security Systems listed the concerns in more concrete terms. He pointed out that issues range from serious problems like the continued militant activity in African countries, immigration concerns in Europe, and terrorist concerns in the Middle East to more isolated incidents like a drone intrusion into the White House and escape of a drug baron from a Mexican prison. 

William Ku, Spokesman and VP of the Brand Business Division at VIVOTEK agreed. 
“European migrant crisis and ISIS terrorism increase the new infrastructure and new government projects in the European and Middle East countries.”  

Others point out that it is, in fact, difficult to pick up individual events that have sparked a change in the market, ascribing it more to an aggregated effect of fragmented incidents across the globe. 

“While no single event can be cited as the cause of major shift, we are all well aware that unfortunately, the world is becoming more insecure due to a range of political, economic, and cultural factors,” said Bodil Sonesson, VP Global Sales at Axis Communications. “But, surveillance technology has also been improving, with better quality images, smart analytics, etc., thereby helping society to better monitor environments, solve incidents, and prevent attacks.”

But it’s not just increased or improved security solutions that are in demand. Along with security concerns, most customers have to contend with the weak global economic outlook. Hence what they look for is more customized solutions that can offer better ROI.   

Market demands customized solutions for unique requirements

customized security solutions
Customers now want more value for their 
money and this means more customized

A major change in the security industry has been that the traditional boundaries of the sector are fading and blending into neighboring fields. Evidence for this is the emergence of concepts such as building information management (BIM), business intelligence (BI) in sectors such as the retail industry, and the analysis of traffic patterns and people movement. 

According to Sonesson the two main drivers behind this shift are more sophisticated video analytics and increased integration of IP video surveillance with other systems forming the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Throughout the year we have seen ever increasing demand for advanced video analytics solutions, across all market segments and verticals,” Sonesson said. “For example, in retail, video analytics feed into business intelligence and business analytics software. 

“In city and transport surveillance, audio analytics alert cameras of incidents such as a gunshot before they become visually identifiable. In critical infrastructure, thermal cameras detect intruders and work seamlessly in tandem with extreme low-light cameras for further identification and classification.”

Paul Webb, CEO of Synectics, believes that a key direction towards which the security industry has been moving this year is integration. Security solutions working collaboratively have much more efficiency than systems operating in isolation. Demand for open architecture surveillance command and control solutions that facilitate this approach to safety and security has therefore increased significantly. 

Increased demand for more detailed visuals

In terms of the equipment itself, certain market segments are increasingly demanding surveillance visuals to be as detailed as possible. 

“Along with the demand for integrated solutions, there are market sectors that also require surveillance systems to achieve superior levels of visual detail — a trend which has driven an upturn in demand for HD IP cameras,” Webb said. “In casino deployments, for example, cameras covering gaming tables need to be capable of detecting minute detail — detail that isn’t required in, say, general hospitality areas.”

Market sees more new entrants as safety fears rise

school shooting security
Recent shooting incidents in educational
institutions have prompted demand in this vertical

Another major shift in the security market has been the increased demand in certain sectors that have traditionally shown lack of interest. Webb said that while sectors such as oil and gas have always required security solutions, his company is now seeing more demand for new technologies from sectors such as education and transport. This could be attributed to the several recent active shooter situations in the educational institutions. 

“Thankfully active shooter situations are rare, but tragically these were experienced in many corners of the world this year, including outside of the U.S.,” said Song “With Norway’s Utoya Island summer camp in 2011 still fresh in the mind and Garissa University College, Kenya, in April this year, we’re now seeing active shooter policies implemented by universities globally.”

During the implementation of such a policy, many educational institutions have found their security systems inadequate, and are now looking to upgrade. Such an increase in demand from new sectors points to the broader picture of security market and the move towards a networked, connected society. 

An integrated future ahead

If the events of 2015 are any indication of what’s to come, the security market will continue to see increased demand in the future. Market analysts themselves have agreed to this, citing the global safety concerns and counter measures. 

But solution providers will be forced to tailor their products as per customer-requirements. There is also more scope for further integration of security solutions with other technological domains. In short, as the market sees even  more new entrants, solution providers will be forced to think out of the box to meet demands. 
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