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Smart home, DIY driving security adoption

Smart home, DIY driving security adoption

My first beat when I joined Security Systems News in 2016 was covering the residential scene, which fortunately for me, was undergoing an incredible transformation driven mainly by the rise of the smart home and, of course, the ability to control everything from our almighty phones. I remember the ceiling that security was trying to break through was that 25 percent mark for home security system adoption – a number the industry had been stuck at for quite some time.

But back then, there was a glimmer a hope, as the smart home movement was gaining traction and new technology was streaming into the market, raising awareness for consumers of how intelligent their homes could be, as well as how easy it could be to add security to that equation. I remember talking with Parks Associates back then about this very topic, and the excitement over the possibility that this smart home movement could mean big things for security.

It turns out, Parks was right!

In fact, the latest report from the research firm, which was presented at ISC West in Las Vegas this week, shows a whopping 34 percent of U.S. broadband households, approximately 36 million households, own a home security system, and another 34 percent of own a smart home device.

In the session DIY for Smart Home and “Security – What are the Impacts?” at SIA Education @ ISC West Program this week in Vegas, Parks Associates President Elizabeth Parks was a featured speaker, along with Mark Owen Burson, VP, Marketing & Product Management, Nice, and Jeremy McLerran, Global Security & Smart Building Marketing, Johnson Controls. The panel addressed factors driving security adoption.

“DIY products and installation are helping to expand the smart home and security markets, drive familiarity, provide lower price points, and create greater awareness,” said Elizabeth Parks. “Consumers expect basic interactivity to access and control their systems and receive notifications as scheduled or requested. Basic interactive features are considered standard offerings now, and we will continue to see the addition of new devices to extend that experience.”

The expert panel looked at the market expansion of security solutions and examined how DIY and smart home products are adding volatility for professionally installed and monitored security companies. Parks Associates reports nearly half of smart door lock owners purchased this product as their first smart home device, highlighting the potential for this device to be a gateway to other connected products as they are added to the home.

DIY, once a four-letter word for security professionals, is helping to raise awareness and drive adoption of more smart security products, from cameras and locks to energy and convenience.

“We know DIY is an installation option chosen by an increasing number of today’s consumers,” explained Johnson Control’s McLerran. “Making our products intuitive enough to be considered for DIY installs allows us to give our dealers the opportunity to tap into this growing market and improves the ease and speed of their professional installs.”

But as Owen Burson of Nice points out, “Today’s DIY smart home security consumer expects a ‘plug and play’ solution. But the same advancements that provide consumers with more choices at lower price points also create challenges with interoperability and functionality. Security professionals must evolve as influencers and consultants to help their customers navigate a vast and rapidly changing landscape or design and install custom solutions to meet specific needs.”

As Burson notes, and this has also been confirmed by earlier Parks research, that all is not rosy with the DIY security landscape, but that is good news for security dealers who are there to help pick up the pieces and provide professional installation and services when the DIY dream goes awry.


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