Senior Director of Cloud and Enterprise Solutions for G4S, Joe Young, explains how advances in video games, mobile phones, televisions and more will disrupt commercial security.
At home today, your virtual assistant can notify you of today’s weather, top news stories, traffic conditions and the time it will take to get to your first appointment. The assistant opens your blinds, turns on the kitchen lights, sets your thermostat, and plays your morning music playlist throughout the house. You can see the driveway camera on your TV to check if it has snowed. When you leave for the day, it sets the daytime temperature of the house, turns off the lights, turns off the TV, disarms the alarm, locks the front door, and shuts the garage door.
While this sounds like a state-of-the-art, expensive home automation set-up, it’s the complete opposite. This voice-controlled experience is becoming increasingly common as it can be built with a simple DIY setup using free software and devices purchased at the local electronics store.
By comparison, it can feel like a step back in time when you step into your client’s office. The front door is propped open because everyone forgets their security badges at home. In the reception area, there is no receptionist or intercom. Instead, a sign asks you to sign the paper visitor logbook and call your host using the lobby phone. When your host arrives, he hands you a badge that has access to all doors throughout the building 24/7. The conference room he brings you to is 10 degrees colder than the rest of the office. Your host leaves and tries to find the thermostat that controls the room, but can’t figure out which one it is.
The next generation of employees are going to expect the same connected experience in the office as at home, and the next generation of Corporate Security Officers will need to make that a reality. What does this mean for integrators and manufacturers?
The critical driver of disruption is the speed at which consumers or businesses adopt a new product or service. The rapid alignment of emerging technology, new business models to distribute it quickly, and subsequent exponential adoption means that organisations must become more agile in their ability to respond, anticipate and adopt the new.
As emerging technologies spread into boardrooms, it is not just the technologies themselves that are disruptive, it’s the scaling and adoption of those technologies that are also vulnerable. Artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, augmented reality, Internet of Things and virtual reality have been around since the early 2000’s. However, it is now evident that our business model enablers have evolved to drive the technology through a business, making the impact of technology truly disruptive on a large scale.
Business model enablers such as Cloud services, miniaturisation of sensors, low cost computing, application programming interfaces, crowdfunding, open source now allow us to have access to the funding, platforms, processing power, software and data necessary to turn the technology into useful, scalable solutions.
The combination of new technologies, alongside new business model enablers, results in significant change in the adoption rates of new technology enabled companies, products and services. Technology companies are crossing over into different areas, and getting the right technology at a lower cost is becoming easier.
The New Normal
People are consuming things differently today as they find new ways to access the same content. For example, cable TV users are shifting to streaming. Virtual assistants are the norm at home. How soon until they control security? PC usage is down and app usage has soared. Understanding “user experience” is critical to understanding DIY technology.
The DIY trend tempts the above average user to want to install a personalised solution. In our “I want it now” culture, integrators and manufacturers need to be nimble and responsive by using the tools that end users are accustomed to in their daily lives. In the home automation space, you can remotely resolve issues by instantly calling, finding web support, or using chat, email, voice, etc. Integrators and manufacturers need to harness the disruptive technology to provide the instant support end users experience in their everyday lives.
Internet of Things is one of the biggest disruptors that integrators and manufacturers can use to their advantage. End users can self-customise by self-configuring and creating automation. Everything is connected and adding devices is simple. Savvy end users are taking more control and do not want to call a technician each time they want to make a change to their systems. As the commercial security industry evolves, it is imperative to leverage the trends to bring greater value to customers.
The commercial security industry needs to increase cyber capabilities in order to keep up with the user demand and provide a secure data environment for customers. End users are increasingly looking for technology with open architecture to meet their desire to self-customise quickly. In the security or commercial space, customers frequently worry about security breaches, and end-to-end encryption must be used for everything along with opt-in models.
Tips to Succeed
In two to five years, what we see today in the consumer space will be the norm. Manufacturers need to balance their core offerings and figure out how to be disruptive.
As we bring innovation to our customers, it’s important to invest in a diverse team to lead innovation and technology vision. By hiring talented individuals who live technical lives at home, helps change the culture when they bring their experience to work. At G4S, we leverage everyone in the organisation for their thoughts, ideas and experiences.
As commercial technology evolves to the consumer level, we continue to find ways to provide value to end users. Being available to our customers, listening to their needs, and using our extensive knowledge means we are trusted advisors. By working in partnership with customers, we can set up a future-proof security solution, and create a relationship that will last for years.
Joe Young is the Senior Director of Cloud and Enterprise Solutions for G4S, overseeing technology and innovation for the G4S Secure Integration Managed Services division.