Round Table Expert Panel
Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?
How much does a security system cost? We all know that total costs associated with systems are substantially higher than the “price tag.” There are many elements, tangible and intangible, that contribute to the costs of owning and operating a system. Taking a broad view and finding ways to measure these additional costs enables integrators and users to get the most value from a system at the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). However, measuring TCO can be easier said than done. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to share the benefit of their collective expertise on the subject. Specifically, we asked: How should integrators and/or end users measure total cost of ownership (TCO) when quantifying the value of security systems?
In tidying up after a year of Expert Panel Roundtable questions and answers, we came across some previously unpublished responses from our panel. These interesting responses address some of the hottest topics in the industry, from robots and deep learning to the “race to the bottom.” Taken together, the varied comments offer their own range of insights into the evolving physical security market. This week, we highlight some of these assorted Expert Panellist comments submitted over the last several months.
Enterprise customers provide a large, and very lucrative, business opportunity for the physical security market. These customers include big global companies with plenty of revenue to spend and employees and facilities to protect. As a group, enterprise customers also tend to be a demanding lot, requiring systems that are large, scalable, that can operate across a wide geographic area, and that provide top-notch system performance. Enterprise customers set the standards of performance for the entire market, and they challenge manufacturers to up their game. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on the industry’s biggest customers: What are the security challenges of the enterprise market?
The new year presents new opportunities for the physical security marketplace. In many ways, 2018 will undoubtedly see further development of trends we saw in 2017. In fact, some of the trends determining the future of the physical security industry have been in place for many years. However, not every event in 2018 can be foreseen or easily predicted. To be sure, it is sometimes the surprises that keep life interesting! We asked this week Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security market’s biggest surprise in 2018?
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?
In recent years, information technology (IT) departments at end user companies have often been seen as adversaries of traditional security departments – or, at least, as a thorn in their side. One of the issues is territorial: As physical security products have migrated to use of Internet protocols and the network infrastructure, the IT and security departments have clashed – erm… make that interacted – more and more often. New realities such as cybersecurity have made it critical that the two entities work in harmony, and IT professionals often provide useful insights into product selection, among other issues. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the influence of the IT department on security purchases at an end user company?
It seems there are more “bad things” happening than ever before. We hear news every day of workplace shootings and terrorist attacks, of smash-and-grab thefts and child abductions. Beyond the possible human tragedy involved, such events pose a persistent question to anyone involved in the realm of security: Could we have prevented it? The first step toward prevention is to predict or foresee an event before it happens. Too often, technology enters the picture after the fact, most commonly the use of forensic video. Isn’t there more our industry can do before such events occur? We put the question to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can security systems be used to predict bad things before they happen?
We have been hearing about smart buildings for more than a decade, but the increasing profile of the Internet of Things (IoT) expands the possibilities for intelligent building systems and makes them even more attainable. Security is often among the “smart” functions of a building, and the capabilities of many physical security systems can contribute in new ways to building intelligence. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of “smart buildings” on the physical security marketplace?
Industry standards make it possible for systems and technologies to connect and work together. Standards enable today’s integrated systems. But does adherence to standards stifle innovation? Does the necessity to interface using an industry-wide standard slow down the implementation of newer (and possibly not standards-compliant) capabilities? Or do standards eliminate extraneous variables, empower more integration and encourage greater innovation? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does the use of standards either stifle or jump-start innovation?
They call it “critical” for a reason. The so-called “critical infrastructure” is composed of the basic services that citizens have come to depend on, and which are necessary to support society and ensure national stability. The term includes high-visibility segments such as airports, refineries, transportation, wastewater, nuclear reactors, electric utilities, pipelines, and more. Because these functions are so critical, the stakes of providing security are higher than for any other market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of critical infrastructure facilities?
Products are the building blocks of systems and solutions. How those products are combined, and where the integration happens, is a variable in the physical security market. Before the advent of open systems, a single manufacturer typically combined his own products, using proprietary connections, into end-to-end solutions for customers. Open systems undermined that paradigm to some degree and made it possible for customers to pick and choose products from multiple manufacturers to be integrated into a solution. Lately, the pendulum has again swung toward “system solutions,” or end-to-end systems provided by a single manufacturer … Or has it? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is the industry shifting from a focus on products to emphasizing end-to-end solutions? How is that a good (or bad) thing?
Video systems today offer more capabilities than ever. Consequently, the systems can be used in new ways. For a variety of reasons, however, many customers don’t take full advantage of the capabilities of their video systems and therefore are leaving value on the table. Education and training are tools to alleviate the situation, but the first step is to identify the new ways that video can be used. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do customers under-utilize their video systems, and what should they do differently?
Companies in fast-moving industries tend to want half or more of their revenue to come from products released in the last three or so years. The logical extension of that philosophy is the demise of product "cash cows" that remain in a company's portfolio for many years. Where better to witness the shortening life cycles of technology products than in the smart phone market, where most of us buy into the hype of the "latest and greatest?" But does acceleration of new product introductions translate into shorter product life cycles in the field? We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is an acceptable life cycle for a physical security system? Is there a trend toward systems being replaced more, or less, often?
“Don’t try this at home.” It’s a common warning, but how does it apply to security systems? With today’s systems becoming easier to install, and with customers becoming more tech-savvy, there is a growing market for “do-it-yourself” or DIY home security systems. The trend also extends beyond the home security market: Business end users may also think they can forgo a professional installer and handle installation in-house. The customer may save money by installing a system, but at what risk? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the pitfalls of “do-it-yourself” when it comes to security systems?