Security Watch: Electronic Security Challenges & Opportunities

By Aditya Sekhar, Chairman & Managing Director, Micro Technologies (India) Limited

Aditya Sekhar, Chairman & Managing Director, Micro Technologies (India) Limited

Micro Technologies (India) Limited (BSE: 532494) (NSE: MIRCOTECH) is a global developer and marketer of security solutions. Headquartered in New Bombay, the company has a current market cap of Rs.12 crores.

The unrest and uncertainties worldwide have necessitated all countries to enhance their security cover. According to Gartner, the leading global technology research firm, the worldwide technology and services security market was forecasted to grow from $61.8 billion in 2012 to $67.2 billion in 2013 registering a growth of 8.7 percent. The market would grow to more than $86 billion in 2016.

Emerging Trends
Major trends that will shape the security market: mobile security, big data and advanced targeted attacks. Further, the "bring your own device" (BYOD) concept will emerge as a conspicuous phenomenon that will have a far-reaching effect on the security industry. An organization's requirement for managing security of data and networks with the adoption of BYOD would present significant business opportunities for technology service providers. Over the next few years, the amount of data required for information security to effectively detect advanced attacks while supporting new business initiatives will grow rapidly.

To mitigate the attacks, organizations would require an in-depth defense strategy across multiple security controls. They must continue to set the security bar higher, reaching beyond many of the existing security and compliance mandates.

Indian Security Market
The Indian Electronic Security Equipment market is 80 percent unorganized while the 20 percent organized. According to a recent Frost and Sullivan study, the security surveillance market is pegged at $407 million to $509 million while Homeland Security spend in India is pegged at about $8 billion by 2016. The Indian industry needs to quickly ramp up on R&D and innovation for new product development, hi-tech production capability and integrated solutions oriented approach.

As the next phase of growth will come from rural India, all security players will have to be better equipped to educate our rural people about the need for security devices and solutions. This is going to be a great challenge. But as rural India develops, it requires major infrastructure facilities like schools, colleges, universities, institutions, hospitals, hotels, roads, railways stations and others which in turn needs security. Rural India with a population of over 800 million - more than the EU and the U.S. combined offers vast opportunities for security market.

The second big challenge is to make all security operations mobile based as more and more daily tasks are done through mobile phones. Mobile phones should be simple and user friendly so that even a farmer or fisherman takes control of his security through mobile phones.

Quality, Innovation and R&D will grow significantly. As technology changes fast, the end users will attach importance to quality and innovation which will take center stage.

Another challenge is to make rules and regulations strict and transparent so that any security breach attracts automatic punishment. That will act as a deterrent. Other challenges include heavy duties and taxes that inflate the prices making security products beyond the reach of common man, inadequate end to end solutions, providers and lack of awareness and attitude. We have to make all security products affordable, accessible and adaptable.

Way Forward
The Indian electronic security industry is in for a bright future as demands from Government, Corporate, Banking, Retail and Residential sectors are going to be significant and they will be the growth drivers of this industry.
> Trend towards one-stop shopping in the commercial and industrial markets as customers seek to decrease their systems integration costs
> Move from analog to digital
> IP based systems gaining ground
> Convergence of IT and physical security
> Arrival of IT network players
> Falling of prices of electronic systems worldwide
> Investment in brand development and customer awareness
> Both government and private organizations make their purchases of security equipment by inviting tenders or soliciting quotations from supplier companies.

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