From 4K Ultra HD resolution surveillance cameras to near field communication (NFC) or Bluetooth-enabled access control readers and applications, technology innovation in the security industry runs the gamut. However, while these newer technologies and the advanced functionality they offer generate a lot of buzz, the fact remains that today’s end users and systems integrators are looking for much more in the security devices they purchase than just the latest and greatest features. Despite a slowly recovering economy, security budgets have yet to climb back to their pre-recession levels. As a result, end users and integrators must be able to show a tangible return on investment (ROI) on the security solutions they purchase.
For many years, security operated within a silo, but that is quickly changing. Companies are now looking for security solutions that can be leveraged across different departments—human resources, facilities and more—and also provide long-term value to the organization. Additionally, it is no longer acceptable for security manufacturers to use a “checkbox” approach to the features they offer. More thought needs to be put into how the features of a product can be best utilized by customers. For example, a video surveillance company could develop a revolutionary type of analytic, but if the setup of that analytic is temperamental for integrators, then what difference does it make to customers looking to use that technology?
Here are few things that could play a big role in the industry in the not-toodistant future.
Openness and Interoperability
The word “open” is thrown around frequently in the security industry, but it is typically used to describe a security system, such as access control, video surveillance or other solutions, that are interoperable with products from other vendors. Whole spectrums of possibilities exist when someone uses the term open. Where the technology sits on this spectrum can have a significant impact on the experience of the integrator and end user, both in the initial implementation of the solution and in the technology options in the future.
In the best scenario, the connections between solutions use a published standard. This often provides the manufacturers the best visibility into the connection between solutions, and ultimately provides greater flexibility to the end user. One way this can be achieved in the access control realm is by implementing solutions that comply with the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP), a communications specification developed by the Security Industry Association (SIA) to enable devices, such as card readers and control panels, to work together.
Using a control panel that also supports OSDP, for example, can provide users with the flexibility they need for their future access control decisions. Customers should ensure the solutions they select support open standards, but it is also important to consider what they are doing to ensure long-term value for the security solution. Just like our laptops and cellphones, technology in the security space is constantly in motion. Manufacturers should be designing solutions to support the latest standards, and to provide a runway for the technologies around the corner.
Greater Usability and Reliability
Although there is often a shift of trends within the industry where manufacturers will find themselves pushed by customers to deliver a certain set of features, two things have remained constant through the years: usability and reliability.