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2020 Halftime Report: The State of the Physical Security Industry

Since 2017 Brivo has worked with Security Management Magazine and ASIS to conduct a survey to understand the state of the physical security industry. The yearly poll asks security professionals about their biggest challenges, goals for the year ahead, and which technologies they are using or want to use and why. 

Our latest report with the published insights for 2020 was released in the beginning of the year. Then, COVID-19 hit. 

COVID-19 is affecting every industry in unexpected ways. That led us to question: what are the new priorities of security, facility, and property management professionals since COVID-19 came to be?

The most obvious differences are focused on four areas: 

  1. The challenges to adopting new security technologies
  2. The most important benefits of cloud-based access control
  3. The use and adoption of mobile at work
  4. The overall view of the security of cloud-based access control

Read the halftime report for the details on these findings.

The Change in Challenges

In the 2019 survey results, 21% of respondents said lack of alignment between security and other departments was their biggest challenge and 9% said that executive buy-in was their biggest challenge. 

Now lack of alignment is down to 9% and executive buy-in has dropped to 5%.  

We take this to mean that organizations are coming together and are realizing the critical nature of security. Security has become a priority and organizations are working together better to address those concerns.

The Change in The Most Important Benefits

In 2019, security professionals said convenience and cost savings were almost equal as the most important benefits of access control. They were separated by a fraction of a percentage point. 

In our August halftime check-in survey, cost savings lagged behind increased convenience by 20%.

COVID-19 has made cost savings less of a concern and the ROI of human time and productivity is what is most important now. Creating true operational efficiency in an organization is of the utmost importance. While budgets may be tight, the value of running smoothly and securely is paramount now.

The Change in The Use of Mobile At Work

The use of mobile applications and credentials at work has been increasing for years. This year has accelerated that growth. 

The use of mobile applications for work increased by 12% in 8 months. Now 85% of respondents say they use work-related mobile applications. 

Since we started our surveys in 2017 the use of mobile credentials has almost doubled from 22% to 38% and 5 of those percentage points accumulated in 2020. 

The increase in mobile application and credential usage seems right on target with our newly remote workforces. With on-site management out of the question for many security professionals now mobile and remote management is a must.

The Change in the Perception of Cloud-Based Access Control

Our survey asks around 25 questions to get an understanding of what trends we might see in the year ahead in the security industry. 

The final question of the survey is the most important question to us: Do you think having cloud-based access control would improve your overall security?

The industry has come a long way in their relationship with cloud technology since Brivo debuted 20 years ago as the first cloud-based access control solution. Since COVID-19, more security professionals think cloud-based access control will improve overall security. Now a majority at 58% agree in improved security through cloud-based access control marked by the 12% increase in agreement in 2020.

This large increase is likely brought on by security threats, vulnerabilities, and inefficiencies exposed by COVID-19. Organizations realize that their physical security and cybersecurity are critical to the health and survival of their business. The solutions they choose to control that security must be as technologically advanced as any other business solutions they would choose. Cloud-based access control fits into any organization’s leading-edge tech stack.  

We’ve gone through a lot this year. 2020 has taught us that we can’t get lazy. The world can change in a snap and the technology we use to protect our people, our buildings, and our assets need to be reliable, flexible, mobile, scalable, and integrated. Those are buzzwords for a reason. When put into practice those features are absolutely necessary for business continuity in our new environment.

Read the full State of Physical Security 2020 Halftime Report