Stuntz sees those developments as opportunities for companies like Cisco and ADT. He thinks there will continue to be a need for traditional stand-alone products offered by such firms but expects IT applications that specifically solve security issues to also occupy a strong niche in the market.
The mingling of needs and new technologies is driving five basic trends in the industry, Stuntz said:
1. Integration is moving products toward integrated solutions. “As new products come out, you will see more and more capabilities to plug them in with other products to create one unified solution, rather than stand-alone products,” he predicts. “Because you have a development environment, essentially, just as you have with the PC or with a Mac, where lots of other companies have now developed applications that enrich the value of those products, you’ll see the same thing happening as the industry moves from products to solutions. You’ll see companies developing more and more specific technologies. Video analytics is probably one of the most obvious ones that come to mind.”
2. Information is being distributed more efficiently, allowing it to get to the right person(s) sooner and thus enabling more effective decisions. “For instance, you have a security issue come up in an airport,” Stuntz said. “However, you see you have the same issue happening at four airports at the same time. No longer a local incident — that’s a coordinated incident and needs to be handled at a different level by a different type of decision-making. So getting all that information first of all identified by looking at patterns over a broader system, and then getting the relevant information to the right person to make rapid, good decisions can lead to more effective responses, which is the third trend.
3. Responses are becoming integrated into the system and automated, thus improving reaction time dramatically. Automatic notification can be passed on to citizens, employees or students if a high-risk event is happening — a fire, campus shooter, toxic gas release, weather emergency, etc. — so that immediate protective action can be taken. In addition, Stuntz points out, “Whoever has to be called in – different fire departments, police — giving all of them the ability to interact not only with each other but also interact with the people on the site, the management on site, to coordinate the event, creates a more effective response. And when you think about it, that is the purpose of the security system.”
4. The architecture of security systems will improve. Several benefits will accrue from this trend, Stuntz says, including data-storage efficiencies throughout the local area network, the corporation’s wide-area network, which in turn will reduce costs and improve efficiencies because information can be shared more broadly.
5. Services will be expanded and enhanced. Stuntz predicts that monitoring services like those offered by ADT will proliferate over time. “And that goes everywhere from being able to monitor the data,” he points out. “Alarms and video attached to those alarms could also monitor the health of these greater integrated systems that go beyond just a single site to tie multiple sites together for a global corporation or a school environment with multiple sites and schools or a bank or retail location.”
The emerging opportunities will play into the strengths of companies such as ADT and Cisco, Lantrip believes.
“They’re the leader in IP technologies, and we’re the leader in the security industry,” he said. “It’s just a very good complementary mix, so our partnership grows stronger every day. Cisco has network experience to support applications that reside in customers’ networks. While we develop that expertise to the same level, we’ve relied on them to help us work through issues that we didn’t quite understand yesterday. They’re investing $10 million in video technology in the last five years, and they’re going to continue to invest it, but we provide them voice-of-the-customer feedback so that we can help drive that technology in the direction that we see it going and to meet our customers’ needs.”
Bob Giles is a regular contributor to Security Technology Executive.