Recognised as something of a technology visionary who, across the years, has positively disrupted the status quo and helped to revolutionise the way in which security software is used, Keith Bloodworth forecasts the general direction of the security industry and notes new trends in the security market as we move into the next decade.
Across the last 12 months, Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) projects have grown in their size and complexity. We delivered even larger multi-sited and more complex solutions than ever before. There are now PSIM solutions dealing with even larger numbers of applications and devices that require tighter orchestration to safeguard increasing numbers of facilities.
Further, the digitalisation of Control Rooms continues unabated. Most of our clients needed to migrate from outdated Control Room technologies to new, more open and digitalised Command Centres. They wanted new applications, upgraded technologies and customised operations, while at the same time phasing out analogue sub-systems. PSIM software allows them to realise this change in a timely and cost-effective way.
Most of our clients have multiple video management software (VMS) from different vendors and no desire to move to a single platform for video. They like the freedom to choose that comes with an open PSIM platform.
2019 was an interesting year for PSIM companies that saw a lot of M&A activity. Qognify acquired ONSSI (who had acquired SeeTec), making it a significant vendor in the advanced VMS market. Also, IndigoVision moved to acquire Agora, a Portuguese PSIM vendor, in order to add significantly increased intelligence to its VMS offer.
On the whole, we’re seeing VMS vendors adding more and more integration capabilities to their software, effectively making them entry level integration platforms. We don’t see them as competitors at the higher end of the security integration market.
The route to market for PSIM vendors is changing slowly, but significantly. For our part, we work with full-service partners and integration partners as well as directly with end users. All options can work equally well. While CNL can be the integration specialist, our partners are responsible for the sub-systems hardware and software.
Data integration will gain momentum
Data integration within security is gaining further momentum. In the past, the integrations were mainly about cameras, doors and intrusion devices, but now data analytics and point cloud technologies make accurate people and asset tracking possible and, with it, the need for orchestration across multiple complex sub-systems with communications and collaboration embedded.
Make no mistake that lower cost radar and Lidar is changing the perimeter and high security markets for good. This kind of tracking technology needs orchestration of other technologies like cameras, ground sensors, intercoms, radios and more. That orchestration technology is exactly what PSIM solutions do best, and where PSIM and VMS product differentiation will grow wider.
Greater vendor collaboration
Another market trend is vendor collaboration, showing how their technologies and solutions work together. CNL collaborated with two partners at ISC West: Bowler Pons and Cepton. Bowler Pons showcased how it could make complex procedures simple through physical demonstrations of multiple sets of high security gates, security facilities and security officers, both remotely managed or manned.
Cepton demonstrated the latest in Lidar technologies using edge computing to provide real-time detection, tracking and classification.
We’re also part of a consortium showing interoperability between manufacturers. It’s a brilliant initiative started by TBS and Nedap, who were joined by Milestone Systems, Axis Communications, Boon Edam, the ASSA ABLOY Group, Samsotech International and Traka.
Super users set the agenda
In 2020, we expect to see the rise and rise of the super user. We’ve noted previously that many end users are driving the segment to reach higher ambitions and we continue to see this trend. Whether this is aggregating the sub-systems, using PSIM to manage credentials for multiple access control systems or orchestrating perimeter detection with tracking Lidar, we see the super users as the force that drives the industry.
There are consultants, and particularly so in regulated industries, who are specifying PSIM, but we’re now seeing super users in corporates who have goals and ambitions that stretch even our own enterprise platform.
Enterprise Risk Management and PSIM
We’ve questioned whether PSIM is just a security product, or whether it’s even a security product at all. Of course, many use it as a security aggregation platform, but in recent months we’ve been working with enterprise risk management (ERM) partners who fully understand the power and value of PSIM.
For them, the high cost and implementation times are viewed as a minor issue compared to the value it offers to clients through a successful PSIM implementation oriented around ERM. They’ve been excited by the breadth of integration capability now on offer, the configurability of today’s platforms and the implementation of highly complex operational workflows.
PSIM is a sub-set of ERM, which therefore means that PSIM is of equal interest in the Boardroom as it is in the Security Operations Centre.
Outlook for PSIM in 2020 and beyond
Analyst growth predictions seem to have become more realistic, but still point to 25%-plus CAGR for the PSIM industry. The market remains a specialist one. With the advancement of machine learning, security automation, converged digital and physical technologies and tougher compliance needs, we will see global integrators with specialist IT and data skills working on progressive risk solutions that incorporate security needs.
There’s no doubt that PSIM’s growth will continue in the coming years, but the solutions will need to evolve faster to meet super user ambitions.
Keith Bloodworth is Founder and CEO of CNL Software