End Users Lament Security Integrators Are Behind Tech Curve: Survey

A survey commissioned by System Surveyor also found 82% of security integrators continue to use paper and pen to gather requirements at customer sites.
Published: September 9, 2020

AUSTIN, Texas — Enterprise security professionals want more knowledgeable, transparent and digitally advanced security vendors, according to new research commissioned by System Surveyor.

The Physical Security Industry Benchmark, conducted by H2 Strategic Communications, is based on a survey of more than 340 corporate and campus security managers, system integrators, dealers and manufacturers.

The survey focused on physical security system design, procurement and client-vendor relationships, asking respondents about their current challenges, priorities and plans for technology investments into 2021.

In a press release the research findings are described as “a study in contrasts” and include the following results:

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  • 44% of enterprise security leaders are fast tracking security projects, but 71% said their budgets are not increasing
  • System integrators are bullish on business (76%) with a top priority to maintain or increase sales (58%). Yet enterprise professionals want their system integrators to be more up to date on the latest products and technologies (49%) and better understand their needs (44%)
  • Top three system integrator challenges: gathering accurate site details (48%), inability to visit customer sites (39%), and customers requesting multiple proposal revisions (35%). However, 82% continue to use paper and pen to gather requirements at customer sites, contributing to these obstacles and creating negative impacts to business.

“Driven by the [coronavirus] pandemic and other factors, in-house security professionals are striving to remedy any vulnerabilities and add new safety measures,” says Chandra Hosek, co-founder and principal at H2 Strategic Communications. “These leaders have raised their expectations of system integrators and other security vendors to provide expert guidance, a higher level of service and seamless digital interactions.”

To that end, both groups expressed interest in remote collaboration technologies. System integrators cited the need for customer-facing software/tools for visualizing and co-designing systems (a top response to which technologies would most improve business). One-third of the enterprise security leaders said a top priority this year is to implement technology to virtually collaborate with their team, partners and vendors.

These professionals also said system integrators can enhance customer service by providing a portal with access to the latest service and system records (35%) and being more transparent with project and proposal information (35%).

“The survey results show that system integrators and other physical security firms have an excellent opportunity to engage and improve collaboration with customers to build better long-term relationships,” says Chris Hugman, CEO of System Surveyor. “Digital transformation is a key enabler to improve both in-house business operations and the customer experience. Digital will enable remote selling and consultations in the short term. In the long run, digital will determine the market leaders.”

Select Survey Respondent Quotes About Priorities & Challenges

  • “Developing a culture of collaboration and documentation to ease system design and customer records. This also allows for easier site surveying, proposal creation and project completion.” — [vice president of technology for a system integrator]
  • “With all the stakeholders involved, projects take forever to plan, select vendors, initiate and complete.” — [enterprise security professional]
  • “I think organizations will need to learn how to effectively sell remotely for the foreseeable future.” —  [installing security contractor]

This article originally appeared in CS sister publication Security Sales & Integration.

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Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series