The Transition from Traditional Security to Interactive Security
The professional security market is a mature and stable industry with a proven business model that has successfully worked for decades. In recent years, however, there has been an unprecedented technological revolution that included several factors, such as the appearance of smartphones, the advent of IoT and the proliferation of cloud-based services that have brought improvements in connectivity and new forms of interactivity. This has led the industry towards some major changes. These changes have caused the traditional security market to shift into interactive security, providing a combination of professional monitoring services together with interactive capabilities for the end user.
According to Strategy Analytics, by 2020 there will be more households with interactive security than traditional security. It is easy to understand why: consumers prefer new interactive solutions which offer them capabilities that traditional security systems are unable to provide. An example is the ability to verify an intrusion by checking their camera on their smartphone after receiving an alert that someone entered the house. While with traditional security users were passive, and did little more than turning on their alarm when they left the house, with interactive security they have become actively in control of all their home’s features.
But it’s not just about security. Interactivity also enables home security solutions to work with other connected living devices, such as smart thermostats or connected light bulbs, bringing together all the benefits of traditional home security with modern connected home automation, placing full control of the house into the homeowner’s hands. In words of William Ablondi, from Strategy Analytics, “consumers want their security systems to not only protect their families and their homes, they increasingly see them as the foundation of total home control”.
Perhaps the path to interactivity started with SMS alerts that warned of a potential burglary every time the alarm went off at home. But it was the smartphone that turned everything upside-down and set the up-to-now predictable and stable security industry into a furious race towards interactivity. Despite the fierce competition, security service providers are now in a unique position to offer the best of two worlds: they still get to provide professional monitoring and all the traditional services together with new interactive capabilities that make solutions better and more convenient for consumers, allowing them to gain full control over their home, with which they can interact from anywhere in the world.
Besides, while the market scope for traditional security was narrowed to homeowners of above 45 and in the higher-income side of the spectrum, new IoT enabled security has contributed to broaden that scope, democratizing home security technologies, which are now available to all type of users with all budgets and housing situations, from younger millennials to renters, who can take the system with them as they move to a new house.
Also, interactive security solutions can provide service providers with data about user’s activity, which could be analyzed and used in order to improve user experience and prevent customer churn.
Interactive security has forever changed the traditional business model, and blurred the lines between professionally monitored and DIY security, creating several hybrids and flexible, in-between solutions that adapt to the needs of every type of customer, even as those needs change and evolve over time.
Although traditional security is still larger in numbers than the newer, interactive security market, the exponential growth of the latter in recent years reflects that interactivity is here to stay, and it will soon surpass the traditional model, fueled by consumer preferences and the latest technological trends.
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