Frost & Sullivan sees shift to advanced solutions in the SA security market


Technological innovation, a decrease in costs and increased user awareness of the medium-to-long term benefits of using electronic security is set to drive growth in the Southern African security systems and services market. So says think-tank Frost & Sullivan.

In a new research piece it says the market in Southern Africa is experiencing a shift from the use of traditional ‘manned’ guard services to the use of electronic and integrated security solutions.

It adds that the Southern African security systems and services market (comprising Namibia, Botswana and Zambia) earned revenues of $173.0 million in 2007 and estimates this to more than double by 2014.
“Southern Africa is displaying a trend towards the integration of security equipment and services to create effective and reliable security solutions,” notes Frost & Sullivan building technologies analyst Sostina Shiri. “The dominant guard services sector is projected to experience slower rates of growth, while the security systems and services sectors are poised to take off.”

Heightened user awareness of the medium-to-long term advantages of using electronic security, coupled with technology innovation and reduced system costs, will boost the security systems and service markets. Companies involved in all aspects of the security industry will be able to offer end users a ‘complete solution’ to their security needs, thereby making strong competitive gains.

Despite optimistic projections, there is still resistance towards the adoption of new security technologies across Southern Africa. A majority of customers still prefer to use manned guard services instead of deploying electronic security systems.
“Many end users prefer to use the tried and tested, traditional forms of security,” says Shiri. “However, this situation is gradually changing as technology suppliers are able to demonstrate the benefits of these new technologies.”

Low labour costs have traditionally made guard services a very attractive form of security in the short term. However, end users are realising the medium-to-long term cost benefits associated with the use of electronic security. This includes a more effective and efficient form of security, and the elimination of the many hassles associated with the use of a large guard staff.