Aren’t you getting tired of seeing a do-it-yourself security or home control display in almost every retail store you go into? Or a new mass-marketed, low-cost security system advertised on TV practically every day? The level of competition in the security market is perhaps the highest it has ever been — and not just in residential. In the non-residential sector, systems integrators are being squeezed by entities such as managed network providers, who are bundling security with other business services to offer savings to clients.

At the same time, it truly has been enlightening to see how each of these new competitors is approaching the market with their own unique definition and concept of security. I sometimes ask, “Why didn’t our industry think of that first?”

Some of these new offerings are giving rise to how the traditional security industry is changing. Great example: a self-installed security system that the customer buys online, controls through a smartphone (no keypad whatsoever), but is professionally monitored and has dealers benefiting from the RMR. This is a new business from industry veterans called DragonFly Security. (See page 46 and online at

This is a great time to be operating in the security marketplace because of the opportunities it provides. But it’s also a difficult time for some integrators who have not been able to revamp parts of their business that aren’t profitable or are losing money. They may find it helpful to read about the experiences of other dealers and integrators.

In this month’s cover story, “Is the Security Space too Congested?” beginning on page 58, we present commentary from a small panel of integrators who are facing today’s new breed of competitors head on, together with the results of SDM’s 2016 Industry Forecast Study. We hope you will find our coverage valuable for concluding how your business performed compared with industry averages, and for stirring ideas on how you can be a stronger competitor this year. For example, the cloud.

“I think that’s the next step and it’s going to change everything across the board, in ways we can’t even imagine. I don’t see it as a threat and I’m not sure if it’s an opportunity either. It’s an unknown at this point, but it’s certainly a real factor,” believes Dean Belisle of ACT NOW! ALARM, featured on this month’s cover.

From all of us at SDM, we wish you a peaceful and healthful new year — and a prosperous one for your business.