The results of new research carried out on behalf of the British Security Industry Association’s Export Council, to coincide with the recent Intersec 2013 event in Dubai, underlines the strong demand being seen in the Middle East marketplace for the latest security systems from UK businesses, despite increased international competition, and also brings into sharp focus the key technology trends such as HD CCTV, PSIM and hybrid solutions that have been centre stage over the past 12 months.
The vast majority of the Export Council’s member companies (87%), who responded to the survey, confirmed that they are active in this pivotal region. Of those questioned, 40% reported that they had witnessed a notable increase in revenues derived from the Middle East over the past 12 months. A similar proportion of companies saw business levels remaining unchanged, whilst a much smaller number (20%) reported that sales in the region had actually fallen. Significantly, the outlook for the coming year is much stronger than 2012 with an impressive 80% of members anticipating a rise in orders and, crucially, no one predicting a fall in revenues.
Focusing on the business areas covered by the member companies who completed the survey, most were electronic security manufacturers – this reflects the composition of the Export Council as a whole – with 7% being involved in cash and valuables in transit solutions and a similar number providing training.
When questioned regarding the approach to security technology which they believe has had the greatest impact in the Middle East, over the past 12 months, the areas out in front – cited by 25% of those surveyed – were HD CCTV and PSIM (Physical Security Information Management). The HD (High Definition) revolution that is now so well established in consumer electronics is really making its mark in the Middle East with the roll-out of mega-pixel CCTV cameras to provide addition detail in security critical applications like banks and hotel lobbies. Of course the rise of PSIM in the Middle East is not surprising given the surge of interest worldwide in the bringing together and operation of a range of security systems, especially where larger projects are concerned.
Not far behind in third place in the security technology stakes was hybrid security solutions on 17%. The hybrid approach allows the combination of legacy analogue infrastructure with the latest digital, networked, security technology which can prove beneficial if site owners want to maximise the return on investment on older elements when upgrading to IP.
Other elements that were reported as having had a real impact were biometrics for access control, more efficient and reliable switch mode power supplies for security systems, and IP related technology. One surprise from the research was perhaps that VCA (Video Content Analysis) did not feature, which is certainly a security technique that is undergoing a resurgence in other markets.
Significantly, the research investigated the leading factors which Export Council members were seeing as the drivers for customer buying decisions on the ground in the Middle East. It was discovered, for instance, that although initial purchase price was ranked as the most important by a third of respondents, encouragingly, compliance with industry standards – which is a key requirement for BSIA membership – was the main decision making factor found by 20% of companies questioned when dealing with Middle East customers. Following on from this, in joint third, came ease of operation, technological innovation and strong business connection. Above and beyond these, other subsidiary factors mentioned included: the high level of robberies.
The survey also sought to discover which vertical markets were leading the way in taking up the solutions offered by BSIA Export Council member companies. It was reported that the top market sector was government on 46.7% – underlining their pivotal role with regards to major projects in the region – followed in second place by residential on 13.3%.The remaining sectors of note singled out by the respondents were: banking (specifically ATM protection), transport, hotel/leisure and office developments.
Said John Davies, Chairman of the BSIA’s Export Council: “This new research shows that there is a real appetite out there for the best that British security solutions can offer. It is also encouraging to see that when it comes to making buying decisions ever closer attention is being paid to factors such as compliance with industry standards – a key strength of our members – above and beyond initial purchase price. The strong performance of Export Council members, and the prediction of better to come in 2013, is a reflection of the quality of solutions and the industry-leading nature of the innovations that BSIA companies are able to deliver to customers across a wide range of sectors in the region.
“The record attendance of member companies at this year’s Intersec event – both on and off the BSIA-organised UK Pavilion – further demonstrated that British companies are not being complacent and are looking to the future with confidence as they showcase the latest security systems solutions and technology to visitors.”
A video of Tony Smith from Export Council member company IDL (Integrated Design Limited) being questioned about the Export Council’s Middle East research results during Intersec 2013 can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/2yAcq4hClqU
For more about the work of the BSIA’s Export Council and the benefits of buying security solutions from its member companies please log on to http://www.bsia.co.uk/export-council.