At the SecurityXchange leading solution providers and top system integrators met to discuss ideas, trends, technologies and of course the impact of IT on the security market. Many of the themes first identified in our premier July 2006 issue: “The Changing Role of the Security Executive” were echoed:
  • What are the risks we are trying to mitigate?
  • Focus has shifted from event management and disaster recovery to prevention.
  • Can we assess and measure the value of this security investment?
  • Once this solution is implemented, will it solve the problem?
But all the innovations and security technology in the world can be bypassed unless the right strategy, execution and people are in place to manage them effectively. And that is where you come in.

In our Second Annual Innovations and Technology Issue, editor Bill Zalud and his team identify the new security solutions that will have the largest impact on your security strategy.

The influence from IT companies, the trend toward open systems and the executive-level demand to measure value and show ROI to justify spending that impact your world have sent a vibration back up the supply chain and have finally reached the traditional security manufacturer. As usual, the middleman feels the jolt going in both directions and gets hit the hardest.

SecurityXchange Sees the Future

During the SecurityXchange, Laura Stepanek, editor of our sister publication SDM, moderated a roundtable discussion with the leaders from systems integrator companies. Here are their thoughts on innovations and technology in the security market that may impact your security decision path:
  • IT is a game changer. While we welcome convergence for the dynamic solutions it provides, it makes geography irrelevant and this is a challenge for our market. The implication is both enormous and beneficial. We are being asked to provide service remotely to places we have never heard of. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for our customers and our companies.

  • Understanding both security as a professional discipline and new technologies has raised the entry barrier in the security market. Knowledge has increased in importance. Due diligence by organizations has grown forcing systems integrators to prove they are credible organizations with professionally certified employees.

  • Both systems integrators and security executives at end-user organizations are at risk of being sucked into the IT market vortex. That means a completely different way of doing business will impact our relationships and how security solutions are designed, priced and delivered. As margins on products continue to decline, services and maintenance contracts are driving profits for integrators, not product sales. In the past, manufacturers ran this industry, but this shift has leveled the playing field. Knowledge and services will differentiate premium or commodity relationships more than products.

  • As the market shifts from an installation and life cycle cost model to a service model, then recurring revenue services including remote hosting, disaster recovery, Web portals, remote diagnostics and professional services will be proposed on a more regular basis.

  • The impact of IT thinking is driving the move to Best of Breed solutions from Best of Brand solutions. This will shift integrated systems from closed/branded solutions to open standard-based systems. The power is moving to the end-user from the manufacturer.

  • End-users new demands can be met, but they need to recognize that their integrator will need to partner and sub-contract with specialty or boutique integrators to deliver on their needs.

State of the Industry

While there is a wide gap between customer expectations, adoption cycles for new technologies and solutions and the end-user organizations’ ability to implement, manage and support these new solutions: the gap is narrowing and our industry is becoming better aligned within its supply chain from manufacturer to security user. This is a result of the industry listening to you, the customer, and relying heavily on the increasingly sophisticated security channel for expertise, two-way communication and security solutions that are both effective and deliver ROI.

By working closely with your channel partner, clearly communicating future direction and expectations, outlining board level requirements and inviting all stakeholders to the table (IT, facilities, finance, etc.), the outcomes will become more predictable and as a result- successful.