System integrators cooperate with a wide range of suppliers to provide the required solution; building and executing the right partnership model is a key to strengthen the market position
The emergence of smart technology is driving the creation of Safe Cities. With increased Internet Protocol (IP) penetration in urban areas, technology is evolving and the competitor landscape has become confusing with organisations offering a wide range of solutions but rarely the entire capability required. The need for a strong partnership network and collaborative environment in the Safe City market is clear but developing and executing a successful sales and business model remains a challenge.
A variety of growth models are used by organisations to strengthen their position in the Safe City market. “Organisations with a single product approach need to ensure that they have a strong niche offering otherwise their role in the market will be squeezed,” says Vice-President for Aerospace, Defence & Security group, Steven Webb. “Other product manufacturers, especially in the area of video surveillance, understand the importance of expanding into further segments to provide a broader solution including the development of video analytics or complimentary security technologies such as access control.”
Acquisitions are common with organisations either aiming to strengthen their current market position or to broaden their existing capability. Information Technology, Telco’s and Defence organisations have all made acquisitions in the cyber space in recent years and this will continue to be a fiercely competitive space.
The market will increasingly become characterised by more formal relationships between large multi nationals and also agreements with smaller technology developers. Using small technology start-ups as technology incubators is a well tested model and will continue to be a key partnership model.
“Distribution channels are changing due to the increasingly important role of IT and telecommunications in urban security,” notes Steven Webb. From a technology perspective, traditional security distributors, consultants and integrators are increasingly under threat from IT distributors and consultants as the customer requirement changes. CIO’s and their departments are becoming increasingly important in specifying security systems and require partners that are able to understand their IT issues.
The market is developing quickly with organisations from different industry backgrounds positioning themselves as leaders in a variety of technology and market segments. Defence organisations are traditionally very strong in government related applications and will remain so in the future. Due to the high level of sensitivity related to Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and the consequences of a successful attack on a city, governments need to ensure that the provider has a track record in protecting national assets.
According to Frost & Sullivan, to succeed in the Safe City space the organisations have to have a clear and targeted approach. “One of the critical success factors for organisations is to clearly identify their future market and value chain position in a rapidly evolving market and assess its relevance regularly,” advises Steven Webb. “Also, demonstrating a strong network of partners with clear, shared goals and a mix of global and local presence will position organisations favourably.”