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Check out SDM’s fourth virtual trade show, iSecurity, for starters.

Admittedly, I’m not the most high-tech, gadget-oriented person. As an example, I’m just now doing the research in anticipation of buying my first smartphone (any advice?). When I watch TV, I still need to adjust the “rabbit-ear” antenna positioned next to my HD flat screen. (My family is among the 10 percent of U.S. households that never appreciated the value of subscribing to some form of pay TV such as cable or satellite.) And for those of you who ask — yes, you can get “free TV” on an HD television.

I’m impressed by people who know their way around an iPad or other tablet, especially when it’s used to perform work more efficiently or effectively. More and more security professionals are using mobile devices in the workplace now.

SDM recently conducted research among our subscribers – you! – about their technology usage and media access. Here’s what the study revealed.

  • To access the Internet at work: 69 percent use a desktop computer, 63 percent use a laptop, 49 percent use a smartphone, 17 percent use an iPad, 7 percent use other tablets such as a Samsung Galaxy, and 5 percent use an e-reader.
  • Among survey respondents, 73 percent use one or more social media websites for business purposes. This includes LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ (top three sites for SDM’s readers).
  • 77 percent of SDM’s subscribers report that they have a smartphone (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc.). Compare this with a May 2011 finding from the Pew Internet & American Life project, which states that 35 percent of all American adults own a smartphone.
  • Among SDM’s readers, a whopping 26 percent report having an iPad. When asked if they had purchased any applications for their iPads for business purposes in the past six months, nearly two-thirds of survey respondents indicated that they had. Compare this with a first-quarter 2011 Nielsen Company report, which found that about 5 percent of U.S. consumers own a tablet.

Growth in mobile connected devices is fast-growing, and based on our research, the security industry is way ahead of the general populace averages. This plays into two things I want you to know about:

First, our cover story in this issue, “State of the Market: Alarm Systems,” written by Senior Editor, Heather Klotz-Young, divulges what professionals are saying about the next big industry growth driver — customers’ remote/mobile access to control and view their security systems. According to one source, more than 75 percent of remote access events for interactive service accounts are through a mobile app. This story begins on page 48.

Second, I invite you — whether from your mobile device or from your desktop — to come to iSecurity 2012. It is a completely virtual event that will provide access to solutions and networking opportunities to industry professionals from around the globe. The nice thing about iSecurity is that it’s FREE, so you can even invite your customers to attend and learn.

On Thursday, March 8 at 10:00 a.m. EST, iSecurity’s virtual expo “doors,” including access to the Exhibit Hall, will open to attendees. Live presentations will begin at 10:30 a.m., when I will present a webinar, “Security Channel in 2012: Best Opportunities & Greatest Challenges.” Throughout the day there will be additional webinars, including “Preparing a Violence Prevention Plan with New OSHA Approach” and “Security 500: What Are the Top Trends Driving Enterprise Security?”

For the full conference agenda and FREE registration, direct your browser to Please take a moment to register today; then you can spend as little or as long as you like at iSecurity on March 8.

So whether you’re on the go most of the time, using a smartphone or a tablet to stay connected, or whether you’re behind a desk at your company office or home office, know that you have access to the latest in what virtual technology offers, brought to you by SDM and our smartHOME brand.