Journalist

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Hailey Lynne McKeefry has spent more than 23 years writing about technology and business. She began her career as an editor at such periodicals as Macintosh News, EBN, and Windows Magazine. After more than 16 years as a freelance journalist, she has written about a broad variety of technology topics, with a focus on security, storage, healthcare, and SMBs. Living in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Hailey has written for many top business-to-business publications and Websites including Information Week, CRN, eWeek, Channel Insider, Channel Pro, Redmond Channel Partner, Home Office Computing, and TechTarget. She graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in literature.
May 15, 2013

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Integrated thinking: Connected security for smart infrastructure

IFSEC: The Role of the Security Systems Integrator Evolves

The security system landscape is shifting dramatically, and security systems integrators need to evolve with it.

That was the premise of a talk given yesterday at the IFSEC International show by Paul Bremner, security market analyst at IHS (previously IMS Research), and Phil Stockham, project manager at VidSys.

A quick glance at market figures bears out the premise. First, there’s plenty of business to be had in the physical security market. In fact, the world market for physical security equipment sold through integrators and installers is forecast to be worth over $38 billion in 2016, according to a November 2012 report from IHS.

However, there is a dramatic shift in where money is being spent. Between 2008 and 2010, the analog market grew 2.2 percent, compared to the IP market that has grown 126.8 percent in just the past two years, according to Bremmer. “The IP market has more than doubled in size, while the analog market hasn’t done much in the past few years,” he noted. Going forward, this trend will continue. From 2012 to 2016, the researcher expects the growth of network products to reach 48.2 percent compared to 16.1 percent for analog products.

Further, the competitive landscape is heating up. Large aerospace and defense contractors are entering the fray, and vendors are also providing services, Bremmer said. “IT integrators are now participating in the security systems marketplace. They are seeing increased margins, so for them it is a good place to be.”

For aerospace organizations, the margins are not as compelling, but the large amount of opportunity is a draw. “It leads to increased competition for security defense and changed the business model,” Bremmer said. “Product margins have declined across the board for the last few years, so integrators have been shifting focus to service revenues.” According to research by IHS, service revenues will rise 38.7 percent between 2012 and 2016.

Further, client expectations are on the rise, and these customers are looking for full integration from security systems, said Stockham. He listed a handful of challenges that integrators need to address with new business models:

  • Security integration increasing in both scale and complexity
  • End clients seeking full integration across a myriad of subsystems
  • Demand for understanding of value of money and a clear ROI as critical in the face of constrained budgets

“Clients no longer want a network operating center with seven or eight pieces of equipment in front of the operator,” Stockham added. “They want full integration, and they want to move the operator away from the technology and be able to track what those operators are doing and how they are interacting with the technology.”

The increased growth of IP-based security systems provides both challenges and opportunities. Let us know how you intend to address this evolving landscape by commenting below.

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11 Comments on "IFSEC: The Role of the Security Systems Integrator Evolves"

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batye
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this days field changed as customers wants more for less at the same time they want simple integrated solution all in one so to say…

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
Guest
Hailey Lynne McKeefry

Even more than that, systems integrators need to know more about more different types of technologies. Understanding about IP is going to be increasingly critical as we move forward.

batye
Guest

yes, upgrades and training is a must… as technology changes almost everyday… this day systems integrators a must have deep IP security knowledge…

Rob Ratcliff
Guest

But we still see lots of people not having that knowledge and not being receptive to learn (though it’s starting). Equally, saying that, some of the latest systems are becoming easier to install from what I’m being told so is the importance put on training being over-sold? (I don’t think so, I think we can’t train people enough!)

batye
Guest

yes, you are right security training and updating/upgrading courses is a must… as the information/knowledge IT security alwaych change… 

kjoeandy
Guest

With the news of hacking from China and other security breaches, becoming a security officer will be one of the best jobs to have in the near future if not now. I believe in training but the right person must make sure such trainings and updates must have been done. I dont see any thing as important as securing your network or systems from intrusion. The knowledge of security is becoming popular and the right people will make sure we are safe.

batye
Guest

yes, you 100% right, but it not an easy job to have as you always have to deal with problems and you need constantly to upgrade your skills/knowledge…

kjoeandy
Guest

@batye, of course everyone knows this is not easy. How many updates to you install for your cell phone apps every week? Those updats will come but it requires the best officers to determine if it is going to be useful at that moment or not. It all depends but the job is not easy for sure.

batye
Guest

yes, thank you, but this days with changes in technology it seems like updates must be installed almost everyday…

kjoeandy
Guest

That’s why we need people like you who know that updates are becoming like a daily bread. I bet if you learn to become a security office you will do well.

batye
Guest

yes, but the problem to get updates you need to be connected 24/7/365… almost like the first idea of the Xbox One…. 

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