On 12/12/12, I had minor knee surgery and I can recall thinking how fascinating it was to have a significant event happen to me on a day marked by triplet twelves. One doesn’t need to be a numerology hobbyist to appreciate a distinctive date on the calendar.

With the year 2020 just three years off, and the date’s symbolic connection to 20-20 or perfect vision, we thought it would be thought-provoking to hear how professionals in the security industry envision the future as it may play out by 2020. In “20 Visions for Security in the Year 2020,” starting on page 52, we hear from manufacturers, software developers, central stations, security dealers and security integrators about the shape of things to come in nine different areas — among them, technology, human resources, purchasing trends, monitoring and more.

As John Wells, operations manager at Jackson, Mich.-based Comtronics, said, “2020 is three years away from now and the cloud has already kind of come crushing in.” Some technologies that even recently seemed foreign and undefined may even be considered mainstream by the time security professionals ring in January 1, 2020. According to those who contributed predictions, the industry should start thinking in terms of: augmented reality, IoT, embedded sensors, behavior recognition, Internet buyers, uber-monitoring, artificial intelligence, drones, robotics, cybersecurity — such technologies and entities all may play a role.

Perhaps the most pragmatic vision: “Four years ago, cybersecurity was a blip on the radar — acknowledged as a possible concern, but not widely accepted as a key requirement in systems,” said Jumbi Edulbehram of Oncam. “In 2020, the industry will see greater significance placed on this across the channel, from manufacturers to end users, with all players demanding solutions that address cybersecurity concerns. In addition, cloud-based services are poised to significantly influence the industry landscape by 2020, as organizations increasingly need the ability to access data and video on mobile devices from remote locations. Security dealers and integrators will need to select manufacturers that produce hardware and software for cloud-based video surveillance with robust cybersecurity protocols in place to meet customers’ needs. Additionally, by 2020, the practice of integrators and resellers making large margins on reselling hardware, without adding significant value to solving customers’ needs, will go by the wayside.”

We hope you enjoy reading the industry’s predictions for year 2020 in this issue and online at www.SDMmag.com/AnnualIndustryForecast. We would sincerely welcome your input on this topic, either as a comment on a prediction that has been provided, or by contributing your own prediction. Predictions may be submitted through April 14, 2017 via e-mail to Assistant Editor Meg Psiharis at psiharism@bnpmedia.com.

From all of us at SDM, we wish you peace, good health and prosperity in the new year.


Meet SDM’s New Columnist, Helen Heneveld

Beginning in this issue of SDM, we introduce you to a new, regular column titled “Smart Insights,” written by Helen Heneveld, founder of Bedrock Learning.

Some of you already may know Heneveld if you’ve taken any of her training classes at Bedrock Learning. Some of Bedrock’s courses include “Fundamentals for Electronics Systems Technicians,” “Project Management for Residential Installation,” “Home Networking for Technicians,” and many more. (See www.bedrocklearning.com for more information.)

Heneveld often has been hailed as a pioneer ahead of her time. She received her MBA at the University of Michigan when only 12 percent of the students were female. With her early entry in the 1980s into the home automation business, she gained the knowledge and experience that today make her a well-respected industry expert and qualified instructor who speaks and consults worldwide.

The first article in Smart Insights, “How the Puzzle Pieces of a Smart Home Make a Full Picture,” appears in this issue on page 50. We hope you find it valuable and we look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please email the editor at stepanekl@bnpmedia.com with comments or suggestions for future topics.