From the editor's desk: Perceptions and deceptions

Issue 1 2021 News

Over the last two days I had two interesting conversations regarding the security industry. The first was an old favourite of many, mentioning that if you work in the industry you must be making huge money because everyone needs security. If only that was true.

There are some making good money right now, but the security market is (unfortunately) not immune to COVID nor an economy in decline. Almost everyone is looking to cut costs wherever they can these days, postponing technology upgrades or new installations, and even cutting down on guarding spend.

Andrew Seldon.

This leads into the second conversation where a financial director called me to ask for some advice on securing his company’s warehouses. The gentleman in question knew nothing about security, but when he started researching the options available, he quickly realised that there was ‘the usual’ solution of passives connected to a control room that would dispatch a response team when something went wrong. At the same time, he found out that surveillance cameras can do so much more these days, with visual verification before an alarm is triggered for example.

The conundrum he was facing was which of the solutions available actually work well and can be relied upon, and which companies would deliver the service required. This is really the critical question to ask.

There are companies offering cheap services that include cheap cameras, cheap monthly remote monitoring fees, and pay their operators peanuts. The deal looks good in financial terms and will be perfect as long as there isn’t an incident, but the wheels fall off in emergencies.

What this end user got right was that he was looking for a solution that worked and not a cheap solution. Once you have a real solution, you can negotiate and find ways to save money without compromising security (to a degree anyway, another conversation about an SI being talked down to doing a job on a 3% margin is a bit of a horror story; wait till the customer sees what service 3% buys).

And talking about service, I don’t often refer to specific articles in this column, but I was impressed in yet another conversation about what really could be an industry ‘disruptor’ and I think the industry – users, vendors and integrators – should take note of the article on page 6 (it’s already online at

Please let me have your views on the article and cloud-based surveillance services in general at


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