While the world’s economic crisis may mean slower growth for the electronic security services industry, there is still reason for optimism. Our industry can be at its best when times are at their worst. The challenge we face is to deliver products and services to help our customers survive the economic downturn by meeting their growing life safety and security needs, while offering business intelligence technologies that help commercial customers operate more efficiently with constrained resources.

As the world becomes ever more chaotic, the value of “peace of mind” will continue to grow – and that bodes well for our industry. Now more than ever the life safety and security products and services our industry provides are in demand because people need them. U.S. Justice Department statistics over the past 35 years show previous economic recessions have been followed by dramatic increases in crime. History also has proven that as crime goes up, the demand and need for security also rises.

Responding to an increase in crime may drive and sustain our industry in the residential sector, but using security technologies as a platform to improve business operations can help our commercial customers get through the difficult economy. These days, investing in technology for its own sake is a tough sell unless it can add value to a customer’s business in the form of improving operational efficiencies and business productivity. A fundamental shift in our industry toward standards-based technology, information intensity and multi-sensor integration means a focus not only on selling products, but on delivering results through integrated solutions and advanced services. ADT continues to move forward along the IT convergence continuum with the end goal of optimizing business processes for our customers using their IT infrastructure and their physical security framework.

Winston Churchill said the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty. The economic downturn will continue to challenge all of us in the already competitive security services industry. But those who survive can grow stronger and thrive in spite of the difficult economic environment.