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AI tops megatrends list for 2021

AI tops megatrends list for 2021

It is fitting the Security Industry Association (SIA) released its Security Megatrends list on the opening day, Oct. 21, of Securing New Ground (SNG), its annual conference that brings together the industry’s best to talk about current “trends” that are shaping the industry. It is also that great time of the year where we celebrate the accomplishments of industry’s brightest stars with three security legends — Denis Hébert, Min Kyriannis and Andrew Lanning — each receiving SIA’s highest honors during SNG.

I applaud SIA on their impeccable choices for these awards — they represent the best of the best, no doubt — and for their choices for top trends for 2021, which always seem to be spot on.

The 2021 Security Megatrends … drum roll, please … are:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity of Physical Security
  • Predictive Data Analytics
  • Connectivity and the IoT of Everything
  • Cloud Computing
  • Touchless & Frictionless Solutions
  • Facial Recognition
  • Responsive Environments & Intelligent Spaces
  • Emphasis on Data Privacy
  • Move to Service Models

Not surprisingly, artificial Intelligence climbed to top of SIA’s Megatrends, as the industry predicts AI and machine learning will have most impact on technology advancement in the coming years. While AI has been rising on SIA’s list — it ranked second in 2020’s report and fifth in 2019’s report — this is the first year it has taken the top spot.

Input from survey participants and from focus groups and interviews indicated that AI — along with AI variants such as machine learning, deep learning and artificial neural networks — were in the product roadmaps for nearly all security technology solutions.

“Artificial intelligence is resoundingly the dominant Security Megatrend for 2021,” said Pierre Trapanese, chair of the SIA Board of Directors. “AI is the underlying trend driving future technological advancements in the security industry, and ultimately AI offers the promise of making security and safety solutions more effective, efficient, automated and responsive to users and customers. The adoption of AI by the security industry will not, however, be an overnight change; instead, it will shape the long-term evolution of security solutions and will be an avenue for growth, competition and creativity for many years to come.”

The selection of 2021’s Security Megatrends was based on fall 2020 focus groups, interviews and survey data gathered from top security industry business leaders, in addition to input from SNG conference speakers.

The cybersecurity of physical security systems and solutions, which had held the top spot for the last two Security Megatrends reports, retained its influence, and was ranked second, behind AI. Given the impact of the pandemic, respondents’ input also placed the trend of touchless/frictionless on the top 10 list of trends; the frictionless trend had previously been identified as a micro-trend.

Also new to the 2021 ranking of trends was the trend of predictive data analytics, which would assist in providing meaningful insights into the volume of data that IoT devices and security and software systems can create, and the trend of responsive environments and intelligent spaces — indicating the application of technology solutions to automate and elevate environments such as homes, buildings and cities.

In addition to defining the latest Security Megatrends, the forecast for 2021 also identified “security microtrends” and potential areas of disruption within the security industry. The official 2021 Security Megatrends report will be published in early December 2020 and available online for download and/or purchase.

The Security Megatrends will be an underlying theme at the Securing New Ground conference (Oct. 21-22) and will be woven into numerous sessions and panels, in addition to being the focus of a session presented by SIA’s Security Megatrends advisor Steve Van Till, who will be surveying attendees for additional feedback on the impact of the Security Megatrends. Learn more and register on the SNG virtual conference website.


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