Why It’s High Time for Security Industry to Embrace Digital

The coronavirus pandemic has magnified a weakness long simmering in our industry: the lack of digital capabilities and systems. Customers need guidance now. Travel restrictions and denial of access to physical sites do not have to prevent security firms from doing consultations and planning projects.
Digital technologies can enable effective collaboration with customers and partners today. Firms that can do so will be ahead of the competition as the lockdowns give way to more freedom of movement.
This is not just about the ability to do remote selling. It’s also about improving business operations to better serve clients. Companies that have adopted a comprehensive digital information management strategy will emerge from this crisis much stronger.
Now Is the Time: Digital Can Be More than a Lifeline
The truth is that digital transformation is no longer an option for our industry. CEOs with slow-moving digital initiatives before the pandemic lamented to Fortune recently that they are now on a “burning platform.” This urgency is warranted.
The negative impacts of the downturn are tangible. More than 60 percent of security organizations have experienced revenue losses between 21 and 30 percent or more. This is based on the results of a joint survey by the Electronic Security Association ( ESA ), the Security Industry Association ( SIA ) and The Monitoring Association ( TMA ).
Digital can be a lifeline. Stories abound about how firms with advanced digital capabilities are surviving and even thriving during this time. The Keyholding Co. , a United Kingdom alarm-response and locks/unlocks firm, used its existing digital foundation to pivot quickly once COVID-19 started forcing its customers to close offices and shops. The organization created a brand new customer offering — scheduled patrols — in just a few days by swiftly reconfiguring its existing online client portal and job processes.

Related: COVID-19 Impact: Industry Associations’ Joint Survey Exposes Toll on Business

From an overall value proposition, the companies leading in digital have 17% higher profit margin growth, according to the PwC 2020 Global Digital IQ report. Surveying 2,380 senior executives in 76 countries, PwC found that the top 5% of companies are gaining significant value from their digital investments across innovation, customer experience, talent and more. Their employees are more likely to adopt new programs and technologies that drive business.
Remote Collaboration
Because the industry has such a consultative sales process, digital must include sophisticated but simple to use collaborative capabilities. Customers are in uncharted territory and exploring new solutions such as thermal imaging cameras, human temperature sensors, and touchless access control. In addition, new questions are surfacing, such as how to scan the temperatures of hundreds or thousands of...