Heading into 2022 seems a bit scary for systems integrators looking to keep pace and excel in installing physical security systems. In the last 12 months, the industry has seen a massive transformation and influx of new technologies—and it won’t stop there.
The most important thing for systems integrators to remember is that the focus needs to be on the customer and the specific solutions need to be safe, secure and efficient at business processes and operations. Expand your thinking about what constitutes an integrated installation and new project possibilities will roll in.
Each project should be tailored to the challenges and issues the client wants to solve. It’s not OK to sell cookie-cutter solutions to every customer. Customers want systems that are convenient and easily accessible, especially as the workforce continues to work remotely. The ability to manage systems from a single interface—possibly an app—is the simple operation they desire and the way to deliver a superior customer experience.
Here’s what to watch for this year.
Video stretches the imagination and expands the specification
By the end of 2021, the number of cameras deployed for surveillance globally climbed above 1 billion, according to research firm IHS Markit, Englewood, Colo. In addition, San Antonio-based business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan predicts there will be more than 26 global smart cities that meet the necessary criteria by 2025, nine of which are expected to be in the United States.
Video surveillance proved indispensable during the pandemic as a multipurpose tool to monitor face masks and social distancing adherence, and these applications will continue. With the ongoing labor shortage, video helps businesses do more with fewer employees and leverage analytics from cameras to alert management to customer activity, stock shortages or other parameters.
Customers now understand the value of video surveillance for business intelligence and expect analytics tailored to their facilities and operations—and systems integrators can deliver.
Continued refinements in artificial intelligence, higher resolutions and faster frame rates expand the applicability of video, adding insight and multiple uses to every installation. With the ability of 4K cameras and 5G transmission speeds to reduce the latency of wireless data transmission, surveillance solutions will grow in traditional applications, as well as emerging smart cities, logistics, transportation and business operations.
Autonomous technology hitches a ride on security
As more systems become interconnected, security will stretch beyond video and access control and include functionality for autonomous reporting, monitoring and response. Autonomous security systems will communicate and gather data and information to trigger logical next steps. These technologies include drones, robots, visual and audio detection, facial recognition and face matching, intelligent search (including person and identifications), intelligent perimeter detection, 5G edge sensors, body-worn cameras, area occupancy and traffic monitoring.
Security technology will operate with predictive intelligence and become deeply integrated with smart cities and building automation systems, including HVAC, lighting, elevators and fire and life safety.
The cloud matures and edge computing sharpens
The cloud model has matured, and now there’s emphasis on the distributed cloud at the edge and leveraging intelligence within the device. The distributed cloud refers to services moved to locations outside the cloud provider’s physical data centers, but still managed by that provider. As 5G expands, there will be so much data generated at the edge that transporting it to a single, centralized processing location will no longer make sense when it comes to network performance or cost.
Helping move customers to the cloud is the right move for systems integrators who want to satisfy those customers’ needs. The distributed approach is flexible and allows storage at an on-site data center, at the edge in the device on an SD card and in the cloud in a hybrid approach. Critical video alerts and footage can be stored in on-site servers, onboard the edge device or sent to the cloud, depending on customer requirements.
The reach of physical security and integrated technologies seems infinite. You need an open mind and willingness to work with the customer in a consultative manner to design the best solution for the protected premises.
Satisfying every customer is possible—and technology can back you—but remember the criticality of being a responsive, service-oriented organization. It’s a true differentiator, and those with a firm grip on this concept will keep clients for many years beyond 2022.