Accepting security as a single entity, will allow end users to combat threats, lower costs, and increase efficiencies as the number of corporate mergers escalate.

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However, stringent codes regulating fire safety are restraining the trend of integrating building automation systems (BAS) into information technology (IT). The conflicting interactive levels of fire safety equipment, which require minimal user interaction and highly interactive security systems, could lower system reliability.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis: Integration of Building Security Systems with BAS, identifies opportunities for growth in this market spelling out key issues, current market trends and effective competitive strategies for manufacturers and service providers.

“The fire industry is open to integrating its systems (with other control systems in buildings) at the island level but is not embracing the concept on a macro level as flawed integration may compromise on the reliability of fire systems,” explains Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sapan Agarwal.

“This has led to fire systems remaining a relatively closed small world with a clear demarcation between fire and the other building systems.”

Further, as diverse personnel groups handle fire, security, and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings, this confines integration. To propel growth in the integrated products market, fire system manufacturers must collaborate with security systems counterparts, focusing on safety and reliability.

Collaborating would also allow participants to rise above the ambiguity of specifications concerning integrating systems that emphasize only on code compliance.

Another challenge participants must overcome is the domino effect of the lack of cross expertise due to the multiple personnel for each system.

“IT personnel have little insight into BAS networks and communication while BAS installers often do not understand the intricacies of IT infrastructure,” says Agarwal.

“Despite the required technology in place, the low level of expertise in both domains is restraining convergence of IT and BAS.”

Inherent barriers such as regulations, mandates, and embedded industry practices inhibit introduction of new technologies posing problems for consulting engineers to settle on an integrated system.

“Creating control sequences in isolation from any knowledge of security equipment resulting in a master specification document would be an ideal situation,” notes Agarwal.

Besides aiding consulting engineers in specifications, this would also drive demand. The evolution of highly secure practices to safeguard critical data and the exploitation of Web technologies for real-time data access will also enable participants to accelerate the integration of BAS and IT, in the near future.

Overall, this market expects to grow consistently as participants work toward innovative solutions to overcome lack of cross expertise and other innate barriers.