The US security systems industry has a long and interesting history going back to the mid-1800’s. And the name of the largest US security systems company, ADT, actually stands for American District Telegraph. Yup, the basic technologies, and even some of the players, have been around for a long time. But until the past few years, home security systems services were provided for the most part by companies that specialized in electronic security. That’s no longer the case: now there are new kids on the block!
For a variety of reasons, the home security systems industry has seen a rash of new entrants over the past several years. Some of these recent additions to our sector include telephone companies, cable companies, and a bewildering array of small start-up technology companies. Here’s a partial list of what is attracting them to home security systems:
- Recurring revenues from monthly fees are predictable, and subject a company to much less cyclicality than other business models.
- Declines in other types of business (such as the cable industry’s ongoing loss of subscribers) have caused these companies to search for new areas where they can play.
- Penetration of the US market for home security systems is still under 30% of homes - so there is lots of room for growth.
- Security systems technology has evolved to the point where the systems do a lot more, increasing the potential of the market.
Focus on Expanded Services
Perhaps the biggest driver for all this new competition is that the systems themselves do, in fact, provide a lot more functionality today. The expansion includes interactive monitoring, smart video services, and even home automation features (such as remote control of lights, locks, and thermostats). That connectivity that is facilitated by highly-intuitive apps. And now that so many people have smart phones, the homeowner with one of these systems can feel not just protected – but also connected.
Security is Still at the Heart
But the fact remains that at the heart of these smarter, expanded offerings lies a basic need: peace of mind. In fact, numerous surveys performed by players from the security systems industry (and even some outside it) have demonstrated that homeowners view the protection of the home and family as job #1, and the other features as the icing on the cake. In fact, a telling recent quote from an article in an security systems industry publication says it very well:
Consumers today have an expectation that the system they install in their homes can be remotely managed with a smartphone or tablet, and also have the ability to easily interface with other devices and appliances within their residence. At the core of this technology revolution, security remains one of the cornerstones upon which the larger smart home industry has been built.
That makes the point: it all starts with peace of mind.
Good Service Really Matters
Another issue that has arisen with the new entrants is the level of service that the homeowner can expect. Some of these companies now selling home security systems as part of a broader service offering are in truth the poster children for just how bad service can be: among them, notably, are several of the largest cable providers. It’s a well-documented fact that consumers are less than satisfied with their cable company: and if you can’t get good service when it comes to home entertainment, you do really want to trust the protection of your home and family to that same company? That is why those companies are having a tougher time attracting security systems customers than they expected.
Shop for the Best Service
So, read those review, and do your research on-line to find the best security systems company to meet your needs. The good ones are offering the latest technology, so you won’t need to worry about whether you are getting an integrated solution that does it all – but you’ll also be getting the level of service that you expect – and deserve.