Reflections and Speculation for the Physical Security Industry in 2015

July 17, 2015

By Craig Patterson, Director of Vendor Management, PSA

The security industry is certainly not a boring industry to be a part of these days.  From acquisitions to consolidations (both on the manufacturing side and the systems integration side), there is no rest for the weary here at PSA.  Just when you think you have a clue on pending changes in this wacky industry, someone will throw you a curve and have you wondering what’s next.
While some of these changes are for the good and seem to make perfect sense, others will leave you scratching your head and saying “didn’t see that one coming.”
It makes my life on the job very interesting – especially from a vendor management perspective as I try to balance our line card with the right mix of product solutions, and of course, vendor partners.  With technology continuing to move at a pretty brisk pace in the physical security space (thank you consumer and IT markets), keeping up with the new technology developments of the last year will be key going forward.  4K resolution continues to be a hot topic in video surveillance as does mobile apps/solutions in access control, and of course something that is near and dear to my heart here at PSA – cybersecurity. We just passed the halfway point of 2015, so what better time than to reflect on a couple of key topics we learned from in the first six months and speculate on the next six months on a couple of trends that will help shape the security landscape moving forward. Reflection While the consumer and IT markets continue to throw cool stuff our way, we really haven’t seen much traction at this end, especially with 4K.  Maybe it’s me, but as I get older and my arms get shorter and my glasses get thicker, distinguishing the differences in quality of HD vs. 4K video is easier said than done.
Our infrastructure in the market hasn’t really adapted to the 4K standard just yet, thus we haven’t really seen the full potential of this technology.
Despite a slower ramp up, I think we can all agree that it is in fact coming. Cybersecurity is a hot topic, and will remain so as big data breaches continue to happen.  Manufacturers and integrators need to get this in their thought process and start taking the needed steps for securing their systems and ensure that cybersecurity measures are in place.  PSA jumped into the cybersecurity mix with both feet and led an educational push to keep our members informed and align them with key cybersecurity partners.  Visit our cybersecurity page for more detail on our program.  If you’re not in the game now, it’s time to get in. Speculation While a lot of manufacturers are going down the fully integrated security system path (i.e. access control, video and intrusion), a number of them via acquisition, it’s still somewhat early in the game as to the “completeness” of their fully integrated offering.  Most still seem to be somewhat standalone systems.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out because the market is asking for the “one throat to choke” approach.
Although the term video verification has been out there for years, most alarms today are still not verified by video – which of course leads to a lot of false alarms. Not only can video verification help reduce false alarms; it can also help focus the attention of security personnel who actually respond to real alarms.
PSA is looking at a number of solutions in this arena, included hosted video, as we all know the cloud is not going away anytime soon. I could go on and on reflecting and speculating on the hot topics that make this industry such a hoot to be a part of, but I’ll save some for my next go around.  It’s an exciting time to be part of this industry. Sometimes it’s nice just to sit back and enjoy the ride.