Every year around this time I see a meme go around social media about the weather. Unless you live somewhere that is perpetually warm, you have likely seen it. It talks about the various seasons such as Fool’s Spring, False Fall, etc., with a “you are here” arrow. It is often shared when the weather starts to yo-yo from a day or two of 70 degrees, followed by snow. My favorite one of these is the “Spring of Deception.” I just like how it sounds. But when I think beyond the humor, it is not a bad description for the past few years. How many times has it seemed like things are starting to get back to “normal,” only to have another variant sweep in and cause more havoc?
As I write this column I am looking forward to attending my first ISC West since 2019. I have been busy making booth appointments, fitting in the puzzle pieces of who can meet where, when, and collecting a healthy number of invites to after-events and dinners. It has been three years since I have been to Las Vegas for this show and I am excited to see familiar faces, learn about new technologies and offerings and generally be back in the swing of things as they used to be.
By the time you read this, ISC West will of course be in the rear-view mirror and I hope we all have great memories of a successful and busy show!
All around the country there are signs of both spring and hope for an end to the “pan” portion of pandemic. But while things appear to be looking up on the COVID-19 front, other world events are taking center stage, and not for positive reasons. The invasion of Ukraine, skyrocketing gas prices, and continuing supply chain disruptions are deeply troubling.
The security industry as a whole is an optimistic bunch, and as evidenced by this month’s cover story on the state of the access control market, has managed to find ways to not only survive the past two rocky years, but actually find paths to success because of it.
As Managing Editor Laura Toops writes in her article (link), “Access control is having a red carpet moment. While access control has been part of an integrated platform for many years — particularly in the enterprise world — it assumed a widespread starring role during the first wave of COVID-19 as businesses looked for ways to monitor employee health and promote touchless entry.”
STANLEY Security’s 2022 Industry Trends Report found that 46 percent of business leaders have already implemented traditional physical security solutions such as access control, and more than three in four (78 percent) said their organization has rapidly adopted new technology due to the pandemic.
While the overall outlook is positive, there are notes of caution, particularly around supply chain challenges. For example, Strategic Security Solutions’ Jay Slaughterbeck describes in the article that while 2021 sales were very good, stemming from pandemic-related needs, execution was challenging. He predicts that the biggest challenge for integrators going forward will be the ability to get equipment. “To combat this, we are holding a lot more inventory than we usually would,” he says.
The war in Ukraine had not yet begun when this article was being researched, so it is too soon to tell if that will have an impact on the industry in any way. But it certainly is taking a tragic toll on the people of Ukraine and is raising fears of nuclear conflict not seen since the 1980s.
Let’s hope this spring brings more hopeful news on all fronts. In the meantime, even if it is a spring of deception, and more choppy weather is ahead, I have no doubt we can ride out the storm and come out ahead on the other side.