As the cover asserts, this year may be a tipping point for access control sales — with big data, cloud, cyber and more causing customers to rethink and retool their access control and identity management systems. What does this mean? It means not only are access control system sales expanding, according to experts in the field; it also may mean share-of-revenue from access control is growing.

At SDM, we measure share-of-revenue among different product categories through our Industry Forecast Study. Each year the study shows that access control usually hovers around 10 percent, on average, of the total revenue reported by security dealers and security integrators. However, dealers’ and integrators’ average share-of-revenue from access control went up three percentage points, reaching 13 percent of total revenue in 2017. Average share-of-revenue from video surveillance is double that amount at 26 percent; however, video has been the largest slice of the revenue pie for dealers and integrators for many years, outpacing even burglar alarms.

In this month’s cover story, “State of the Market: Access Control,” SDM’s Managing Editor Karyn Hodgson writes: “For the last several years access control manufacturers have continued to innovate and promote new solutions and technologies (from wireless readers to big data, mobile credentials to cloud solutions, and more). But unless they were interested in being early adopters or living life on the ‘bleeding edge,’ cautious end users seemed to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, for the most part remaining happy with their existing systems. But this year, for the first time, manufacturers and security integrators that work in that space reported a refreshing change in attitude, and an increased interest in hearing about and actually buying and implementing new solutions to solve their pain points.”

What makes this trend a tipping point? By definition, a “tipping point” is the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change. In the access control space, the small changes could be considered to be not only the important, fresh technologies Hodgson names, but the fact that end users are starting to realize the vulnerability their older access control systems have in today’s cyber security climate.

“Large enterprise customers are waking up to the idea that not only is their 10- to 15-year-old (or more) access control system probably not secure from a cyber perspective, but that newer systems can offer them so much more return on their investment,” she writes.

Security 101’s Tom Echols, as well as myriad other security integrators go on to address the many additional benefits brought by upgrading to newer technology, such as better return on investment, enhanced ability to be compliant with regulations, more efficient identity management, and even more intelligent situational awareness. “We also find access is moving away from locking and unlocking doors,” says Genetec’s Derek Arcuri in the article. “Now we are taking up bigger conversations about managing the flow of people, spotting abnormities and telling the customer a lot about their own businesses as opposed to just locking doors.”

How can you use the information presented in this article? SDM’s annual State of the Security Market Reports offer an in-depth review of the five major segments of the security industry: Video Surveillance, Alarm Systems & Monitoring, Access Control, Fire Alarm and Connected Home — examining the major trends, the leading internal and external factors impacting sales and installations, technological changes, and the growth potential for each segment.

Many of the articles in the series contain individual responses from more than 30 experts — manufacturers, security integrators and other industry practitioners — who weigh in on the growth potential of each market segment for the upcoming year. Their insights are combined with related, up-to-the-minute research to provide a comprehensive overview of the viability of each market segment. Often these experts share their actual revenue and growth rates, which you can use to compare with your company. You also can note the trends these companies are observing and add them to your watch list to use during planning and strategizing.

Visit for access to all of the installments in this series.