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February 28, 2023


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The shift towards connectivity in the intrusion technology market

Today’s intrusion systems are integrated into the infrastructure of smart buildings, where they can benefit security professionals with a wealth of new security data. Drew Aitken, Senior Sales Manager of Europe at Honeywell discusses how the market is shifting towards connectivity amid digitalisations.

The digitalisation of many organisations has resulted in the increased use of connected devices.  Within the intrusion industry, manufacturers have been continuously developing more cloud connected solutions to keep up with the shift towards interconnectedness. This movement away from standalone intrusion devices, is one of the biggest shifts the industry has experienced in roughly 20 years.


Drew Aitken, Senior Sales Manager of Europe at Honeywell

Previously, intrusion systems would have consisted of an alarm that could be set each day and notify the police if triggered; now, organisations expect something entirely different. Commercial end-users now want to know an array of information such as when their sites have opened, if they are secure, and if deliveries have been made without breaching the site’s overall security. This information is expected to be delivered remotely and within seconds – no longer is a standalone intrusion system suitable for end-users.

The end-user’s expectation has now shifted to wanting an intrusion system that is part of a bigger security infrastructure, that provides them with relevant information, helping them to manage their business and premises more efficiently.

The connectivity shift

The industry is seeing a shift in end-user expectations because of consumer expectations. Most consumers now expect to receive data immediately through their smart devices, such as smartphones or tablets. Due to the evolving digital landscape, with virtually everything we touch generating some form of data, consumers have been conditioned to expect instantaneous information through their devices at any one time. As a result, commercial end-users now also have these same expectations.

As COVID-19 left many businesses without means to control their sites from home, the pandemic catalysed the need for organisations to access their information anywhere, at any time. The lack of connectivity put a lot of pressure on businesses, especially their operations, as facility managers were not able to grant access to utilities personnel without an employee being physically on-site to let them in.

Nonetheless, a report from McKinsey and Company states that during the pandemic companies were developing digitally enhanced offerings with a seven-year increase compared to before. This research reaffirms the idea that the pandemic changed the way businesses operate, with many turning to digitisation ahead of schedule.

Intrusion technology challenges

Although many organisations updated their IT infrastructures in line with the latest technological offering, intrusion systems largely remain untouched. As such, this transition to connected solutions is perhaps the most noticeable transformation the industry has experienced in a long time.

One of the main challenges security professionals are facing in today’s industry is that the products that have been sold in the past have not been designed for a connected cyber secure world. From a cyber security perspective, it is important for systems to be integrated with one another.


For example, the security system now needs to be compatible with systems such as environmental control, access control, and possibly human resource systems as well. Security infrastructure must now be able to communicate data effectively, which involves open communication protocols and compatible data formats.

Where intrusion systems used to be installed and left to do their job, systems now need to be installed, connected to the cloud, and updated regularly, to avoid security breaches. Cyber security is constantly evolving and systems that are integrated in an IT infrastructure need to be able to adapt alongside it.

The intrusion industry is also experiencing a skills shortage. Given this movement towards connected devices, it seems employee’s skill sets also need to adapt from traditional experience involving physical tools to that of digital experts. As with many other industries, the availability of skilled labour has become increasingly challenging for companies to source and this will need to be addressed if intrusion systems are to be integrated successfully.

Looking to the future

Intrusion technology is still important; however, it is now a more integral part of a smart building rather than a standalone solution. Through intrusion systems being integrated as part of a smart building’s larger infrastructure, there are multiple benefits for security professionals.

A fully integrated system can ease processes and enable access to be granted, without anyone on site, through the use of next-generation technology such as facial recognition or frictionless access.

Once this technology is successfully integrated, building managers will be able to run buildings much more efficiently as less people are needed for the building to function. As such, intrusion technology is becoming an important part of how smart buildings operate daily.

Rather than a standalone intrusion system, security professionals should look towards well-integrated systems when considering building’s overall security.


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