This year’s top security integrators, featured in the 2023 Top Systems Integrators Report, performed, as a whole, remarkably well in the face of multiple challenges — amassing an impressive $6.58 billion in total North American systems integration revenue. This represents a whopping 47 percent increase over last year!

This achievement was in spite of ongoing supply chain issues — mentioned by many of the top 100 integration companies in the open comments — a looming recession, inflation and a critical shortage of technical workers.

“We are struggling to hire new installers,” writes Sonitrol of Evansville Inc., ranked No. 98. “We are significantly backed up and don’t see this changing any time soon.”

Again and again these challenges were mentioned, but many companies also noted the strength of their business in 2022 compared to 2021, with many achieving strong growth.

“It was our biggest year of sales bookings — we booked over 35 percent more in 2022 than we did in 2021,” writes Enterprise Security Inc., ranked, No. 30. “We are seeing huge demand in a post-pandemic setting. Customers are now breaking loose on budgets. Our biggest challenge remains to find qualified technicians. We experienced significant growth in the government sector. Supply chain issues persist.”

One of the most interesting things about this year’s top systems integrators’ collective story is how they were able to pivot their business strategies to meet challenges head-on and succeed.

No. 38, Custom Alarm sums up their approach this way: “We navigated through the challenges of staffing, supply chain compounded by pricing increases by our manufacturers, causing us to change some product offerings. We started working with some new partner manufacturers, which required training of our technical staff during our most busy year yet. At the end of the year we had our highest revenue and highest profits to date and we are proud of the work the team did together to accomplish all this.”

The concept of “pivoting” to meet a challenge is also a factor in this month’s cover story in the Video Monitoring Today supplement, where Senior Editor Rodney Bosch shares the stories of several installing security companies who made the switch from traditional video and alarm installations to remote video guarding.

Robby Burleson of ESI Fire & Security Protection, for example, was frustrated by seeing time and time again customers fail to get justice for crimes — even though the they were caught on video — due to police staffing shortages. So he turned instead to the prevention side, which now represents nearly 40 percent of his company’s business.

Another company, Alarm Illinois, had a similar trajectory. Proprietor David Haddad is now fine-tuning a virtual security guard service with remote video by putting it through its paces, and shares, “We’ve had more apprehensions with a 70-account beta test in six months than I had in 10 years.”

One key lesson that can be gleaned from both of these stories is that when faced with problems and challenges, the most successful companies look for work-arounds, new ways of doing business, new partnerships and whatever else they can do to serve their customers.

For the top security integrators, as well as a small but growing number of remote video monitoring providers, the results speak for themselves.