Change is so annoying

October 2009 News

Just when you know you know all the answers you find you are no longer a teenager and you are back at square one. Then as you get older the questions get more complicated and you find you cannot quite remember the answers.

The security industry is going through some growing pains at the moment. Never mind the recession, companies that have made good money selling good kit and services are suddenly emerging out of teenage angst to find there are very complicated questions been thrown at them. Questions about technology, asked by IT geeks who know little about security beyond an antivirus program.

Of course I exaggerate. But bumping heads is happening and it is called convergence. There is an inevitable meeting of industries as the boundaries between IT and security blur. And this is not simply about IP cameras and the benefits of using them, but the business processes around security that are becoming reliant on IT processes and vice versa.

We gathered a few industry players around a table this month to talk about convergence. There were three from the security world and three IT players. A brief report on their conversation in this issue conveys a few of the ideas debated. Sadly, a few pages can only convey the briefest outline of the conversation, but that is enough to convey the depth of the convergence the security industry needs to prepare for.

Change is underway and the security industry will soon be facing new competition and forced to work with new partners.

In the past week I heard of one IT systems integrator that has not been a blip on the security radar to date winning a tender for a major CCTV project. The security distributors will supply whoever pays the bills, so what is the security market doing to raise its game?

How are local security integrators going to compete with IT integrators that already have nationwide infrastructures and good relations, sometimes to board level with major customers?

Or am I having a paranoia attack? Will the security industry really face pressure from IT? Are our integrators ready to talk IP and analogue? Are security companies ready to get involved in business process management, risk management and compliance issues? Feel free to let me know on [email protected]. I am keen to hear what is happening in the trenches.

Coversely, to demonstrate the fact that convergence may remain ‘unconverged’ for longer than some vendors would like you to think, it seems this legacy technology is far from dead. IP camera sales seem to be declining at a faster rate than analogue, which in some logical twist means a larger portion of sales are analogue rather than IP. I guess recessionary budgets are focused on maintenance rather than replacing old equipment.

So that would mean that even change is subject to change. Serves it right.

Andrew Seldon



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