What’s The Future Of Electronic Security 2023
Future Of Electronic Security 2023 – There’s no point pretending the last couple of years have not been challenging, dislocating and demanding. But they’ve also been rich with opportunity for electronic security people.
Despite the torment of COVID years; with multiple lockdowns impacting on business confidence, business planning, and staff motivation; electronic security solutions have ridden a wave of digital transformation built on technological maturity that shows no sign of peaking.
Pandemic showed the resilience of the industry’s supply chains, with manufacturers successfully sourcing new components and redesigning products to conform with tightening supply. Distributors, too, have transited the last couple of years well, with many growing strongly on the back of thoughtful supplier choice, rigorous customer service, and a willingness to invest in stock.
The future of electronic security expressed as medium-term trends is diffuse, but there’s an accelerating digital element that’s no longer about add-ons – it’s foundational. Once IT was seen as external to the electronic security industry, but that’s no longer true. Manufacturers, distributors, integrators, installers, consultants and security managers have entirely embraced digital wherever it best serves their solutions.
Networks have a long history in the security industry, beginning with access control and alarm monitoring software in the 1980s. Today, the appeal of digital is multi-faceted. The ability to deploy systems on existing secure and monitored networks has considerable benefit in terms of ease of installation and return on investment. Another key attraction is the way the latest software solutions make small and medium-sized integrations so seamless.
It’s only a slight reach to say the best VMS and SMS express much of the functionality of PSIM. They bring in access control, alarms, lift control, automation, CCTV, video intercom, vehicle access and plenty more. And they make these systems accessible on a single workstation in fantastic ways, with mapping, icon driven functionality, smart reporting, operator logging and notification to smart devices.
Cloud is another maturing technology that’s being driven by end user digital transformation. Cloud leeched into the electronic security industry via alarm systems developed by pioneers like Risco and Alarm.com and partners, before moving into access control and video surveillance.
Genetec was an early pioneer – before them was Rick Stokes’ bleeding edge ePic system. Today when we discuss cloud video, we’re not talking about SME CCTV applications, or consumer toys. Some cloud-based video surveillance systems comprise thousands of cameras and leverage cutting edge network technology.
As electronic security has sunk its roots deeper into the digital substrate, elements of digital have become increasingly vital to security operations. The process started with networked workstations but continues to evolve rapidly to include analytics and management by mobile devices.
There are strengths and weaknesses in this symbiosis. Cyber security is key to digital evolution in the electronic security industry, and SoC defences continue to evolve. NDAA is also growing in importance. Network uptime is a big deal, too. Not just at HQ, but wherever your authorised team members happen to be.
Regardless, it’s a mistake to think electronic security solutions will go all-digital, with remote devices connecting to globally accessible networks via blue cable. There remain strong arguments for the reliability, low manufacturing cost, low cabling and network cost, and distributed intelligence of solid-state electronics and their robust and inaccessible non-TCP/IP LANs.
There also needs to be recognition that the cabled and wireless internet is not always the perfect communications network. It needs to be supported by local databases, local power, local storage and local cabling networks that can be ported onto switches from controllers adjacent to remote network racks. Even then there are going to be times that end-to-end-digital systems will fail operationally, even if only because a mobile device battery goes flat and end users procedures don’t stipulate security officers carry a battery in the field.
Something profound emerged from the altruism generated by the COVID pandemic – tighter partnerships. These partnerships are reshaping integration, as trusted partners are empowered to create more complete technological handshakes that don’t compromise cyber or comms security.
But there’s a negative potential in a tight coalition of trusted partners. The trend underlines a lack of common standards in many areas of electronics and IT, and it highlights the imperative of finding balance between open standards and secure business models. Perhaps it’s a reach to say these blocs of integration partners represent a new form of proprietary, but perhaps it’s not.
Something we saw through 2022 was very large manufacturers coalescing security ecosystems by acquisition. This trend has yet to entirely play out, but there remains a possibility that very large digital players might purchase their way to predominance in some areas of the electronic security market.
What’s The Future Of Electronic Security 2023?
What does SEN predict in 2023? Faster evolution of software, hardware development will be more static. Mergers and acquisitions are likely to increase in the second half of the year, particularly in the smart home market, which looks a bit over cooked. There’s going to be a focus on simplifying access to the operations capabilities of technology through polishing of user and installer interfaces.
We see continued growth for the electronic security market. In ANZ, tenders were stronger in 2022 than we’ve ever seen them, and the tender releases at the start of the year suggests this trend is building – there’s plenty of work out there for pro integrators.
The performance of well-managed security distribution businesses is strong, too. Even though there’s a lot of competition in the relatively small market, we’re seeing strong growth in branch and team building, a commitment to enhancing and better supporting more complex product ranges, and a dedication to customer training.
Cloud solutions are going to continue to expand – it’s important to pick mature technologies here, rather than going with lowest price. Something else with cloud is to make sure the hardware is capable. In our experience, cloud hardware is often somewhat over-priced and somewhat under-specced.
When it comes to the future of electronic security 2023, don’t lose sight of what you want your system to deliver and be sure system devices can deliver it. Something we are seeing is talk of AI enhancing stressed image streams but nothing enhances performance like larger sensors, better lenses and more available light. AI is only as good as the data stream delivered to it, and should not be leveraged as means to cut corners on hardware.
AI and data analytics will only grow in operational importance and it’s vital integrators find ways to maximise potential that are viable in terms of cost, and user and public acceptability. Getting this right is going to require commitment to product selection, system design, integration, training, support and procedures – this area of the market is unregulated for the most part, so common sense is key. Security technology has always had significant lateral application – analytics allow integrators to flex that muscle.
Something else we think might lean on the security industry this year is fiscal reality – business models that overreach in terms of promises, or overshoot in terms of price, may struggle to gain traction. It’s all very well to talk about the fact modern security systems are automation solutions, but liberating all that capability is expensive. Suppliers and installers need to find a balance when it comes to functionality and return on investment.
Cameras as sensors will continue evolving, offering consumers the ability to recognise the faces of visitors, receive notifications for intrusion, or left objects, like packages, fall detection for monitoring elderly relatives or family members, the presence of pets or vehicle LPR. It’s video verification of alarm events at an elevated level.
AI and face recognition are also going to impact on access control but we’d argue face recognition integrated into user smart devices is going to be the big mover in 2023 – there’s a 2-factor component to this technology that elevates security considerably. Cloud access continues to evolve, better straddling the divide between door control and network switch. How profound true cloud’s impact on traditional access control will be, remains uncertain but we’d expect a growing early trend in SME applications.
Face recognition and NFC authentication also have applications in smart home solutions, elevating user security levels, and allowing empowerment of authorised users by enhancing remote authentication levels and liberating monitoring and control possibilities.
Alarms and home automation systems are also likely to benefit from smarter sensors, like Halo 3, which combines a myriad of detection capabilities in a compact, robust field device. Halo is expensive from the point of view of smaller organisations and it’s hard not to see manufacturers emulating its design in more economical form factors. There are also new generations of wireless sensors emerging from professional manufacturers that give installers greater ability to layer systems.
As cloud systems grow, we’re going to see more 4G devices ported into security networks. Solar and 4G is a gamechanger for remote security applications. In Australia, with its fitful mobile performance and threadbare coverage, 4G needs to be carefully handled, with carrier choice, antenna selection and the use of amplifiers much more important that they might otherwise be.
The future of electronic security 2023 will see supply chain issues continue to iron out. Instead, getting and retaining quality staff will be the biggest challenge facing integrators and suppliers. This challenge is the industry’s own fault and emerges from decades of under investment in educating its people.
When is comes to managing the future of electronic security 2023, getting on top of staff challenges – including training key staff on the fly – will be key when it comes to controlling wage growth for fast growing security integrators and suppliers trying to keep up with fast evolving opportunities.
Keep up with the future of electronic security 2023 here.
“What’s The Future Of Electronic Security 2023.”