From the editor's desk: Covid consolidation

Issue 6 2020 News

The global security industry has seen quite a few high-profile mergers and acquisitions over the past year or two, with an even greater number of smaller companies that don’t get the headlines also merging, being acquired, or simply vanishing due to various factors.

South Africa has not been immune to these changes, although the ‘action’ over the past year or two has been more the result of a bad economy, which has seen many big players either moving into survival mode, trying new options, or looking to remake their market by creating a level playing field. There are, naturally, many options and plans that were made, but which must be remade now that the down-and-out economy has been kicked in the teeth with COVID-19.

While the industry has seen the impact everywhere, the distribution market has arguably been hardest hit – I realise that is a stretch as only a few companies are still doing well right now. We have already seen one distributor announcing it is changing its approach to business to avoid the 'race to the bottom'. (When we can get a few distributors to talk to us we will be looking at the changing distribution market in more detail.)

Even manufacturers are changing tactic, embracing a broader market, or focusing on the areas where they believe they excel. For example, some industry leaders have quite openly dropped references to the security industry in their marketing and refer to themselves as being IoT providers. The adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) is also reaching new heights and delivering impressive results.

What we are really seeing is the escalation of the move to the clichéd solution sales. If you do only one thing, you must be really good at it, and sometimes even that won’t be enough. Ideally, companies are focusing on offering solutions, solving problems, and increasingly joining forces to offer a one-stop-shop (of sorts) in their field.


Andrew Seldon.

One thing is sure, it’s going to be an interesting year or two as the industry goes through various changes and challenges to recover.

I wonder if the financial constraints people find themselves under will lead to them looking for more automation and self-management when it comes to consumer security (and automation) technology around homes and small businesses. There are certainly many solutions available that are manageable from a smartphone – which may be cheaper options – but the privacy and cybersecurity issues in that area are worrying? Alternatively, perhaps the security service providers will come up with innovative solutions to provide better security in a different way than before?

If you have any thoughts about the industry and where it’s going, or where it should be going, feel free to share them with me at andrew@technews.co.za. Perhaps we can get some forward-looking editorial discussions going?


Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

ONVIF introduces Profile M Release Candidate
Issue 7 2020 , News
ONVIF has introduced its Profile M Release Candidate for standardising the communication of metadata and event handling of analytics for smart applications.

Read more...
T-Systems and Fortinet launch cyber academy
Issue 7 2020 , News
T-Systems South Africa will be introducing cybersecurity education programmes to create a specialised Cyber Security Academy incorporated into the organisation’s existing ICT Academy.

Read more...
New cyber-insurance offering
Issue 7 2020, Vox Telecom , News
The first-of-its-kind cyber protection solution from Vox and King Price Insurance will alleviate key business continuity risks for SA companies.

Read more...
LD Africa partners with Milesight
Issue 7 2020, LD Africa , News
LD Africa is now an approved partner of Milesight’s security and surveillance solutions in South Africa.

Read more...
Secure cloud VMS in an app
CCTV Handbook 2020, Mobotix , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, News
Mobotix has launched a new cyber-secure cloud video management system that enables complete video management of local cameras via an app.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: The more things stay the same
CCTV Handbook 2020, Technews Publishing , News
It is rather redundant to say that the surveillance industry is going through significant changes and that there are some incredible advances in technology happening. You can read about a small number ...

Read more...
There’s an app for that (your camera)
CCTV Handbook 2020, Technews Publishing , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
In last year’s CCTV Handbook we looked at an organisation named Security & Safety Things (S&ST) and its goal of developing an open operating system (OS) for surveillance cameras based on the Android Open ...

Read more...
The future of open standards
CCTV Handbook 2020, Milestone Systems, Technews Publishing, Avigilon , Editor's Choice
Despite the many benefits of open standards, some companies still produce proprietary solutions. Are the surveillance and broader security markets still committed to open standards?

Read more...
The impact of AI on surveillance
CCTV Handbook 2020, Technews Publishing, Axis Communications SA, Hikvision South Africa, Cathexis Technologies, Dahua Technology South Africa , Editor's Choice
Artificial intelligence is a popular buzzword in the security industry that has us expecting real-life science fiction, but what is its real impact?

Read more...
The new operator
CCTV Handbook 2020, Bidvest Protea Coin, Technews Publishing, Leaderware, Rhyco Risk Projects , Integrated Solutions
With technology doing more work in control rooms today, do operators need new skills to be able to add value? Are they still needed?

Read more...