It was almost two years ago when I wrote my first Smart Insights article touting the arrival of the smart home and likening the elements of the smart home to pieces of a puzzle that needed to be solved. Since then, that market certainly has exploded. The smart home and smart office are here to stay. Let’s look at what has changed, what hasn’t and what’s innovative.

The good news is the security industry is still in pole position to take advantage of growth in the smart home/office industry and win the race. The puzzle pieces of a smart home or building are essentially the same – structured wiring/network, security, surveillance and alerts, lighting control, communication, entertainment, climate control, and energy management and integrated control, along with power management and surge protection. 

You already have the security piece. I hope you’ve expanded to smart security, diversified with other puzzle pieces to leverage this huge opportunity, made your clients’ lives better, strengthened your customer relationships, and prospered. And I hope you will continue to do so. This is where the greatest growth for your business can happen – in sales, installation, service and RMR. The puzzle lines are blurring fast as more devices and systems merge to deliver smart technology solutions over the network. The network is the hottest opportunity for new RMR; today, “whomever owns the network, owns the customer.” 

The concept of “smart” has spread and now not only applies to individual homes, but also to multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and commercial buildings. Consumer spending alone on smart home related hardware, services, and installation fees is expected to reach nearly $96 billion in 2018 and to grow at 10% CAGR to $155 billion by 2023, according to Strategy Analytics. And those numbers would be even bigger if they included commercial properties. Over 50% of revenues will come from services and installation charges, a strength for most security businesses. 

The market is certainly big enough for your security business to get a piece of the pie. If you are considering adding home automation services to your offerings, there’s a new option that might fit if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with so much to learn about and sort through. Check out this new franchise opportunity, and consider their expansion incentive program for existing technology companies. For example, proven products can work as a system, enabling you to sell the network router, switches, wireless access points and firewall, along with a maintenance agreement and monthly network monitoring services for the customer’s connected network devices such as a Roku TV or smart thermostat.

Some of the big changes in the home network involve network connections. Devices are no longer just connected to the local network; almost everything is also linked to the internet and the cloud. Today it’s called the Internet of Things (IoT), with seamless connectivity across many devices and locations. Today, 12,000 new devices connect to a network every minute, and by 2025 there will be 152,000 devices connecting per minute. Just think of all the data being collected and analyzed. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be embedded across devices and systems, making decisions and taking automatic actions in all aspects of business and life. 

There’s also a media frenzy going on. Just this year, syndicated content surpassed regular network program content and, according to eMarketer, there will be 55 million cord-cutters getting content over the internet by 2022. 

Looking to the future, there will be convergence and consolidation in our industry, and it’s already begun. Where will your company fit in? Now is the time to strategize and create a plan for the future. Remember, if you fail to plan, you may just be planning to fail. Take control of your company’s destiny – identify core strengths, watch and evaluate what’s happening, look for disruptions in business models with new products, and map out a future where you are well-positioned to take advantage of new openings. 


President of Bedrock Learning a training solutions company in Holland, Mich., Helen M. Heneveld has wide-ranging experience in smart home technologies, business strategies, and training -- from startups to Fortune 500 firms. Her unique ability to simplify, see through the hype, identify impactful new technologies, and pinpoint potential opportunities shows in her passion to help others. Visit