As 2019 begins, it is important for leaders in the security industry to pause and take time to reflect on the last year: How has the industry evolved over the last 12 months in regards to technology, solutions and services? What trends and changes should we expect to see this year?
The following three predictions can help security professionals prepare to stay ahead of the curve.
One of the biggest disruptors for 2019 will come not from the manufacturer or distributor, but ultimately from customers themselves. Many end users no longer want to buy technology outright, if they can instead commit to a subscription model. This means that customers will continue to move towards prioritizing technological operating expenses over capital expenses, thus providing a more affordable option for the customer.
Subsequently, this also will allow resellers to expand their offerings to provide full-service solutions and as a service (aaS) models, enabling them to implement a recurring revenue practice over a period of time. Particularly in verticals such as retail, healthcare and education, resellers who are versatile enough to offer bundled security and payment solutions, combined with other productivity-enhancing offerings, in subscription-based packages, likely will see growth and new opportunities.
Resellers will want to outline the necessity of upgrades, highlighting the ultimate cost savings and explaining the benefits of aaS models.
Another trend that security professionals should recognize is the fact that tomorrow’s customers are looking for a “wow factor” in all forms of technology. No longer is a simple security camera sufficient. Rather, end users crave the value-adds that take products to the next level: facial recognition software, remote monitoring, wireless connectivity and controls, among others.
As customers become more familiar with consumer-facing technologies, resellers need to be able to provide the same excitement and value in the solutions they offer. The industry should be prepared for end users to ask for more than just security products, so having a thorough understanding and offering of the latest security add-ons will be imperative for the year ahead.
Additionally, we’re all living in the age of information, and it’s important to remember that, for the most part, our customers have access to the same information as we do. Anyone can find answers online easier than ever before. This means that end users have the same capabilities to research the latest technology and devices, and stay up-to-date on the trends in the security industry.
Because of this, leaders in the industry must stay a step ahead. Trainings, workshops and educational seminars for employees should become regular occurrences in order to provide creative solutions and stay in front of the competition. Security leaders also should continue to revamp trainings to deliver information and strategies in more digestible, desirable formats, and improve certification and re-certification programs to benefit both employees and end users. It will be imperative that resellers properly educate their customers on the solutions and services available to them, acting as a true partner and delivering the support needed to be successful.
There is no question that the New Year will be an exciting time of change and opportunity for the security industry, and now is the time for security leaders to prepare for success, by harnessing these upcoming trends. To do this, we should be prepared to more fully embrace the value of partnerships in 2019 — potentially with service providers, as the market moves closer and closer to a managed services model. Versatility also will set resellers apart, and those who can either create partnerships or provide solutions in the way the end user requests likely will see success in 2019 and beyond.