Searching For A Positive Charge
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Analysis Articles | November 28, 2012, 8:00am AEDT
Some of the coat hangers on which Memoori is hanging its positivity pitch look a little bent to me – well – perhaps not bent but certainly green. VSAAS and MVAAS are, to my mind, future tech and too dependent on infrastructure that doesn’t yet exist to be relied on to really drive meaningful growth in the short term. They are future revenue streams for someone but it’s uncertain which someone just yet.
Meanwhile, PSIM is an area of real growth but budget constraints have pushed its application to the upper levels. Advanced tech companies and educational institutions are most likely to embrace PSIM in the short term. The report also plays up China’s role in future growth. That nation has only about one 6th the security penetration of the U.S. so there’s organic growth aplenty. Whether or not that growth will accrue to local Chinese manufacturers or global makers is another question.
To me it’s probably the numbers that are most interesting. Here in Australia, most manufacturers and distributors I speak with have a mildly negative short term view of the market but the global numbers tell a more positive story.
According to Memoori, total electronic security production was valued at $US20.57 billion in 2012 – 49 per cent being video surveillance, 27.5 per cent being alarm systems and 23.5 per cent being access control. And there’s been growth. Solid growth in the U.S. (6 per cent) and Western Europe (7 per cent) and stellar growth in Asia, which has increased its share of all electronic security solutions to 35 per cent.
Another key driver of global growth has been video surveillance, which punched out nearly 12 per cent aggregate growth over the period. And there’s no doubt in my mind that there is more growth in video surveillance. There are large numbers of legacy analogue systems, early IP solutions and even pre-HD IP solutions, that would benefit from extensive upgrades. The speed of product development is increasing the churn in the video surveillance market, too.
Memoori suggests a compound growth rate of just 5 per cent over the next 5 years but to me this sounds too low for too long. The pace of product development, the advantages of new technologies, the maturity of new technologies and the potential for integration are all so compelling it’s hard not to see a J-curve in our mid-term future.
One thing I also see is that the current market has lead to a trend towards ‘paring’ in product development. Many products are being developed to offer less and to cost less to manufacture. They’re the same product wearing a different coat.
It’s my opinion that this culture of developmental shortcuts is leading to lost opportunities that will be revisited in the fullness of time when the focus of users returns to performance. For the longest time, the electronic security industry has fed on technological developments that offer end users and integrators more, not less. More power, more performance, more flexibility, more reliability.
These developments have included the McCulloch loop, Hughes’ introduction of prox readers, the still impressive Vidicon cameras, the power of AD’s towering matrix switches, the subtle flexibility of modern management solutions and the staggering image quality of the latest high end megapixel cameras.
There is no doubt whatever that the market-leading products of the future will be superior solutions, solutions whose capabilities are lauded by an industry that has for 4 decades consistently and necessarily venerated reliability, quality and raw performance over stagnation in exchange for low cost.