IoT will change the security market

2014 has been a very exciting year for the global security market. The consolidation of the industry has continued through a number of interesting acquisitions. Canon's acquisition of Milestone Systems was of course the most surprising deal on the market. Vanderbilt's purchase of Siemens Security Products was also unexpected.

In Scandinavia there have been several remarkable acquisitions in recent years. The Norwegian companies Nokas and Sector Alarm made the most high profile acquisitions in 2014. Nokas had already acquired the Norwegian G4S business in 2013 and continued this year to acquire Svensk Bevakningstjänst, the third biggest guarding company in Sweden. This happened just a month after Sector Alarm had acquired the G4S business in Sweden, the most surprising acquisition of the year in the Scandinavian market. Sector Alarm is an extremely profitable company specialised in residential security, now they are getting into the commercial security market in order to broaden their market and their service portfolio.

Another remarkable thing was IFSEC's successful return to London after 21 years at the NEC in Birmingham, even though Security Essen in Germany must be considered as the international security event of the year in 2014. Another exhibition that brought a great deal of attention was ISC West in Las Vegas, now fully recovered after some difficult years in the aftermath of the financial crisis some years ago.

So what about the trends for the years to come? Of course there are several market trends developing, but the most compelling is that of the path towards integration and interoperability between different security systems, but security technology integration will also contribute towards the development of advanced smart buildings, or in residential applications, to the growing market for smart homes.

In this issue of Detektor International we present the recipients of the Detektor International Awards 2014. Significant for this year is that two world leading companies within IP-video were awarded for their products within the access control field, both contributing to the market through solutions that encourage a route away from the proprietary tradition within the access control market, through launching a module for integration to an open IP-video management system platform (Milestone Systems) or by launching the first open IP-platform based door controller (Axis Communications). It is certainly a sign of the times.

The security industry is very conservative and even necessary changes tend to take a long time. Just look at the migration from analogue to digital video. It has been going on since the turn of the millennium and it is still going on, even though now it is now slowly taking over the video surveillance market. The digital era offers many opportunities for the end users and also for the supply chain. Cost effective Security as a Service (SaaS) is about to become a reality, as a result of today's scalable security technology. Through the cloud, resources can be shared and security customers may not have to invest in expensive infrastructure that allocates staff resources. Instead they can pay for functions they need and use through a monthly flat rate fee. This will happen, first of all, in the SME market.

However, the general buzzword in the security industry will be IoT – Internet of Things – obviously a strong driver for SaaS. According to a report by Memoori the Global Market for the Internet of Things (IoT) in Smart Buildings will rise from $23Bn in 2014 to over $85Bn by 2020. For sure it will have an effect on the security market, primarily on the residential security market. Today's dedicated security systems in private homes, with sensors/detectors and possibly cameras connected to a control panel will have tough competition. Security will soon become a part of the network based smart home automation installations. People will add functions to their home automation system and security features will be among them. Eventually, this trend will also be adopted by smaller business.

Finally – on the subject of trends – consolidation, driven by acquisition, will of course continue through 2015.

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