The New Normal
Living in a world of risks
- By Lars Thinggaard
- Mar 01, 2014
We live in a very different world today—one
of risks and fast changes—and looking
ahead, such changes and risks will only continue.
I call it “the new normal,” since this is
expected to be the basis going forward.
We have a completely changed world economy today, with repeated
budget cuts in many countries putting our customers
under pressure in recent years, especially in certain vertical sectors,
yet higher spending in other areas. For example, we have
experienced major changes in defense budgets, not only in the
United States but also across Europe. At the same time, we
have seen higher security investments in Latin America, India
and China. Now the U.S. economy is gaining momentum, Europe
has stabilized, and it seems the worst is behind us for now.
Speaking of China, we see changes in the positions of the
world’s leading economies, with China expected to take over
as number one within the next decade. This increases the importance
and influence of the entire Asia Pacific region. Our
nations are no longer isolated entities: one country’s economic
events can cascade into anothers—our fates are connected
more than ever before.
We see political changes in many markets. Elections affect
economic policies, government funding and investment confidence.
Politics can influence the degree of regulatory requirements
with regard to increased security and a growing harmonization
of policies, along with stricter laws on data usage and
access. This is indeed affecting our industry.
Political unrest also affects public and personal safety, as it
feeds vandalism or even terrorism, creating the need for intensified
safety and security measures.
Since 9/11, security and public safety concerns have of
course been a big focus in the United States, and increasingly
overseas. On every continent, public safety has become a more
important concern during the past decade. Motivating incidences
include terrorist attacks in Boston, London, Madrid
and tumult during the cascading ‘Arab Spring’ where democratic
uprisings arose independently and spread across nations.
According to an October 2013 report, “Attacks and fatalities
soared to a record high in 2012. More than 8,500 terrorist
attacks killed nearly 15,500 people as violence tore through
Africa, Asia and the Middle East,” according to the National
Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to
Terrorism. That’s a 69 percent rise in attacks and an 89 percent
jump in fatalities from 2011, according to START, one
of the world’s leading terrorism-trackers.
Our world today also has an increased focus on climate
change issues, including how to monitor and tackle severe
storms, we also are experiencing more hurricanes than
ever, flooding and other kinds of extreme weather more
Video surveillance is proving to be an operational
tool for monitoring and alerting, aiding response, measuring
and tracking the effects. We also see a change in the direction
of improved security systems to protect infrastructure, energy
supplies and natural resources.
We are involved with constantly changing technological developments
through emerging innovations such as biometrics;
panoramic, high-resolution and thermal cameras; edge device
storage; cloud computing; RFID and video analytics. Much
of this is thanks to the convergence of IP networking as the
core infrastructure of every new installation.
Milestone is living our mission and vision: to globally drive
the convergence of video surveillance and IP-based business
systems through our open platform and business model. We
have changed the industry’s expectations of video surveillance
by demonstrating the unlimited potential that comes with the
freedom to choose components and the power to integrate with
By working with the open platform, partners and customers
get better solutions that leverage the best of our industry, and
work both today and long into the future. They also are able to
add any new equipment and systems as they become available
over time. What a flexible concept. And it is flexibility that allows
us to adapt to change.
Life is Change – Risk and Opportunity
Our world is indeed changing. Moreover, we are part of what
has been named a “Risk Society.” Ulrich Beck, who holds a
professorship at Munich University and at the London School
of Economics, defines “Risk Society” as a term to describe the
manner in which modern society organizes in response to risk.
That includes all kinds of insecurities induced by modernization:
linked economies, political inter-dependencies, the growing importance of technology and climate
However, risks and changes are not
the same as failures. A changing world
is also a world full of new opportunities.
It is our job together to spot those
opportunities and turn them into business.
This is how we can collaborate. I
am convinced that we are capable of
adapting to and exploiting the megatrends
changing our world. This is why
open platform video management software
(VMS) is becoming so important
to so many people.
Today, we know that video surveillance
is about so much more than just
security. Our partners attest from daily
experiences with customer installations
that for many companies surveillance
has become an integrated and logical
part of the daily business process. For
example, in the areas of production,
warehousing, shipping and other kinds
of asset monitoring or process control,
video is a central function for improved
quality and efficiency.
We see that our surveillance technology
is very helpful when it comes to assisting
with environmental regulations
and other compliance matters for businesses
and institutions, such as safety
or hygiene procedures. Our aging population
is driving demand for call alert
systems and expanded alarm monitoring,
as well. Hospitals are discovering
video is a tool for better patient care
around the clock.
There is definitely a growing market
of opportunities out there with open
platform IP video management technology
and integrations. According to
the market analyst institute IHS Inc.
(formerly IMS Research), the IP-based
video surveillance market is expected to
double in size between 2012 and 2017.
This will expand the market from $4.8
to $13 billion. Or put another way, by
more than 170 percent.
You have to agree that a radical and
pervasive change is happening in our
lives. As a matter of fact, we are in the
midst of a revolution.
Milestone plans to continue to
lead in market development, and we
have a proven record of doing so. We
have been the number one company in
the open platform VMS market for
years. With around 3,000 partner
companies and 7,000 certificationtrained
individuals who are updated
every two years, not only do we have
a well-built channel, but we also exceed
100,000 customer installations
with our VMS solutions. So it is not
surprising when we look at our performance
throughout the world that
we see widespread growth.
Ability to Grow with Open Platform
So, what does the future look like in
this industry? Let me make an analogy.
Recall the development in the IP
telephony market: it was a convergent
market over a decade. Its market share
more than doubled in that time—from
25 to 57 percent, out-performing the
traditional technologies. It is realistic
to expect similar development in our IP
video industry with plenty of room for
Analog equipment purchases still
account for around 50 percent of the
security market today but just think:
this means that half of the people are
installing outdated technology for
business use that they don’t even have
at home anymore. Everyone uses IP
technology in their personal lives now.
Its advantages are made clear in our
daily lives, and we come to expect those
whether at play or work.
This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Security Today.