Make Security Convergence Your Priority - 17 May 2007
A new market study by IMS Research based on a unique survey of system installers and integrators reveals how the security industry is being affected by the convergence of IT and physical security. The report highlights that security companies must react now to convergence else face losing out.
The convergence of IT and physical security is affecting the security industry on many levels. Perhaps most visible is the increasing influence of IT technologies on physical security products, such as IP-based video surveillance and access control. In response to this trend, the traditional installers and integrators of security products are having to familiarise themselves with a range of fresh IT skills. The report found that integrators and installers were most confident with network design but were less sure of other IT disciplines such as intelligent switch management and network security. Acting on this skills shortage, integrators from the IT world have taken advantage by getting involved with physical security projects.
Another way in which the convergence trend is influencing the market is the increasing role of the customer’s IT department in specifying IP-based physical security systems. According to market analyst Alastair Hayfield, “On projects requiring IP technology, installers and integrators are seeing the security manager and IT manager as equal stakeholders in the decision to choose IP-based security products. For the time being security managers have the edge when the final decision is taken as to which products to purchase but this could easily change as bandwidth shortage and network congestion increase.”
The convergence trend is also influencing the way in which installers and integrators are purchasing physical security products. The report found that, in Europe, over one-third of installers and integrators now source IP-based physical security products from IT distributors and 15% purchase from IT VARs. Going forward decreasing numbers expect to source their IP-based security products from traditional security distributors.
Hayfield concludes, “Whatever your role is within the security industry, convergence should be a major priority. As IT and physical security combine a wealth of opportunities are being created for anybody who can adapt and take them.”
About IMS Research
IMS Research is a supplier of market research and consultancy services on a wide range of global electronics markets. The company is supported by headquarters in Wellingborough, UK and offices in Austin, Texas and Shanghai, China. IMS Research regularly publishes detailed research on electronic physical security products such as video surveillance, access control, intruder alarms and fire detection and suppression equipment. www.imsresearch.com