Russia ripe with opportunity for integrators

Nation expected to spend more than $626B on infrastructure between 2014 Sochi Olympics, 2018 FIFA World Cup


According to a new report from Frost & Sullivan, the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics and 2018 FIFA World Cup have resulted in significant infrastructure growth in Russia which is subsequently expected to be a boon to security integrators in the country.

In fact, the research firm said that the combined spend on infrastructure between the events totals more than $626 billion and will present security integrators with "significant opportunities" over the next 15 years.

"Infrastructure growth is an important indicator of security demand," Frost & Sullivan Vice President for Aerospace, Defense & Security Steven Webb said in a statement. "The largest infrastructure programs have been planned for oil and gas, mass transportation and electricity generation. Oil and gas is critical to the Russian economy, and ensuring secure supply is essential."

In addition, the research firm said that the Winter Olympics and World Cup may prove to be the catalyst for larger "Safe City deployments" that feature centralized command and control operations centers that connect systems of multiple agencies.

While Sochi has used the games to upgrade its IT and communications infrastructure, the Russian Federation is also expected to invest significantly in the country’s border and maritime security. Among these security upgrades will include radars, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), surveillance cameras and night vision technology.

"Russian authorities are focusing on innovative solutions in the border control segment and are attempting to utilize biometrics to secure borders," added Webb. "The first step in this transition was the introduction of ePassports in 2012. ePassports include the fingerprint data of the passport holder, which gives the traveller the ability to use electronic self-service gates (eGates). This new document has allowed Russia to further invest in innovative technology; post the trial of eGates in 2011, it is now in permanent use at several border crossings."

However, Frost & Sullivan said that the Russian security market is highly fragmented and consists of a mix of both national and international organizations. The key for international firms will be through developing strong ties to local distributors and systems integrators.

"Russia offers opportunity for organizations that are prepared to invest time in building relationships," said Webb. "Technology for complex security requirements is improving, and Russian organizations will increasingly compete for work in international markets. However, a technology gap does exist today and this can be filled through partnerships."