IP-ready products invades the physical security market

SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, February 10, 2005

February 10, 2005

SARASOTA, Fla. - In a world where the growth rate of internet shopping is eclipsing brick and mortar stores’ sluggish increases, so too is the Internet creating a tidal wave in the physical security industry.
Today, it’s possible to control access to the doors of commercial facilities from Boston to Beijing from corporate headquarters in New York and zoom in on an intruder viewed through a surveillance camera in Tucson that’s controlled in Atlanta.
Internet ready security devices and appliances, including wireless, are still in the early adoption phase. However, they’re already having a profound impact on the traditional old-line analog security applications. These include surveillance, access control, video monitoring and digital content storage. This new order recasts the roles of the systems integrator and installer, professional security service providers, the product manufacturer and, of course, the corporate end user who uses the system.
A European-based report from IMS Research pegs the market penetration of IP surveillance products in the electronic security market at only five percent, but it’s about to hit the tipping point, growing 300 percent in just two years. Therein lies the new market opportunity.
When readers of Security Systems News were recently asked what products will dominate purchasing in 2005, 56% said IP-based appliances. An equal percentage said they already have IP-based security products in use, with another 11% planning to add such capability.
“Analog devices will become as rare as vinyl records,” said Brook Taliaferro, editorial director of Security Director News and Security Systems News, two newspapers covering the growing IP-ready market.
Steve Hunt, an industry analyst, said analog devices, because of their proprietary communication protocols, are unable to provide the benefits of today's IP-ready security products. These devices provide more opportunities for increased efficiency, interoperability and speed, he said.
The evolution to IP-based security products will affect the security industry at all levels, according to Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of the U.S. division of IP camera maker Axis Communications.
IT distributors, such as Anixter and Ingram Micro, that have typically served the IT network market, will play a more important role in the security arena. And they’re bringing with them a new breed of integrators, ones who are savvy with network applications, said Nilsson.
"We're starting to see IT integrators and distributors get into the market," agreed Simon Harris, senior market analyst for IMS Research. "It's quite a bit of a shakeup."
Security systems integrators, manufacturers and security directors will discuss the sweeping changes ahead in the security market at TechSec Solutions, an educational conference on IP-ready security technology. The event is February 27 to March 1 at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Fla. For more information, visit www.techsecsol.com.