Estimated at over U.S. $2.0 billion in a recent study by Frost & Sullivan, the market for industrial and commercial security in the United Kingdom is the largest in Europe. Rapid and sustained expansion, a spate of new technology launches, and the highest rates of closed circuit television (CCTV) installation in Europe make the United Kingdom security industry a particularly dynamic one. While the future is challenging, it still possess immense growth potential.
In this context, a recent Frost & Sullivan end-user study based on primary research among 175 installers, decision makers and proprietors in the security installation industry assessed defining trends and areas of potential growth. For instance, consumer/retail, education, banking, and finance were identified as the leading growth sectors for the security market. The study also covered a wide range of issues including the improvements required by security installers in their industry and the potential acceptance of IT companies within the market. It also provided qualitative and quantitative data based on the installers' views on brands and technologies.
Over half the respondents indicated that there were no barriers to specifying security systems. Of the major barriers that do exist, however, budget/cost/price and client engagement were seen as being of primary concern. Client engagement was regarded as being particularly problematic--security installers noted that clients often had limited understanding of the security systems they were ordering. With an average of nearly 60 percent of the installers' time spent on new equipment installation and 40 percent devoted to maintenance and repair, improved product quality and reliability emerged as key considerations.
According to the majority of respondents, clients were open to all kinds of technology integration. However, they exhibited the highest interest in remote monitoring and CCTV. Other frequently mentioned integration types included CCTV and access control, and remote monitoring. However, there did appear to be considerable opportunity for integrating traditional security technologies with newer ones. For instance, several respondents referred to the Internet and wireless capabilities as other integrated services. Over 50 percent of respondents said that clients were making enquiries about IP with just under 70 percent of them convinced that IP would occupy a major position in the security market in the near future.
For technological advances such as integration, IT convergence, and smart surveillance to succeed, however, training both in terms of installation and from the perspective of client education will be crucial. At the moment respondents exhibit limited awareness of the cost of new technologies used in smart surveillance. This presents an opportunity to offer cost-effective new technologies to boost interest and uptake levels. (Frost & Sullivan)
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