Watch out for the security industry bogeyman!

For centuries, parents have warned their children that unless they behave, the ‘bogeyman’ will come and take them away. As a tool of discipline, it works for a short while. Since the explosion of digital technology, many manufacturers in the security systems sector have invented their own version of this.

There is nothing that focuses the mind like a little bit of fear! Inject some uncertainty into a situation, add a few drops of paranoia, stir in a dash or two of concern, and the probability is that you can take control of your subject.

The bogeyman is a great example of this. When I was young and acted up, my mother would be quick to tell me that unless I behaved, the bogeyman would come and take me away. The fear of this mythical creature was enough to bring my boisterous behaviour under control. However, there were only so many times the threat could be repeated before I started to question it.

Who was this bogeyman, and what did he do with all the naughty children? I knew others who were worse behaved than I was, and they hadn’t been spirited off to the lair of the bogeyman. If he’d collected together all the kids who played up, it would like a never ending party. What was there to fear?

One day I was doing something I shouldn’t have been and my mother once more issued the threat.
‘Dave, unless you stop this nonsense right now, the bogeyman will come and get you.’
‘Let him!’ I replied with a healthy dose of nonchalance. That was that. The threat was exposed as empty.

So, what has this got to do with the security industry? I’ll tell you. Ever since digital technology got a foothold in the security sector, manufacturers have told installers and integrators that unless they buy into the new technologies, then the network sector will swoop in and snap up all the lucrative contracts. Every time I hear that I smell a whole bunch of something, and it ain’t bananas!

The design and implementation of security systems is, in itself, a skill. We think it’s easy, because it’s what we do. However, for the network sector, it’s a challenge. Every risk has unique factors, and every site is different. Expectations and demands from users differ too. Security systems must be bespoke if they’re to be effective.

The bogeyman – in the form of lost contracts – didn’t materialise, and as a result many installers and integrators have ceased trying to spot the shadows of any encroaching threat. This may well be a mistake.

In the world of security systems, we don’t pay much heed towards the domestic user. The alarms sector targets them with lower cost solutions, and there are basic video options aimed at that market. However, this could be an error, because technology-savvy users are increasing their spend on security.

To capture those revenues, a growing number of businesses are popping up selling cloud-based solutions. Often the systems are not quite what they seem, performance is low and stability is questionable. However, they’re selling the systems because they have little if any competition. Unless the domestic sector is addressed, then the customers will simply spend their money with the cloudman, and he’s a very real beast indeed!

BENCHMARK
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