The big challenge within the South African security and innovations space today is the lack of competent expertise available in the market. Simply put, there are not enough trained people to do the design, installation and system audit work, which security projects require.
Peter Bouwer, general manager of special projects at Mustek, the country’s largest assembler and supplier of personal computers, is an experienced player in the security field and currently heads up Mustek Security Technologies, working closely with both the private sector and government.
He shares his perspective on the South African security market, including particular reference to the access control and CCTV sectors, facial recognition technology, and opportunities and best practices for the security space in 2013.
* What does the year ahead look like in technology in the CCTV and access control sector? This market is still very much in its growth phase, where it is now starting to lean toward demanding more professional integrated products – providing great potential for players that are able to provide integrated security offerings.
* Is there a particular technology in this space which will take off this year? The technologies that are now moving toward the front are fully integrated solutions offered at reasonable prices. There is a preference toward biometrics (facial recognition/ matching security technology) that will make significant headway during the year.
* What are the most exciting opportunities in the CCTV and access control space at present? Fully integrated solutions, including access control, CCTV, analytics, and time and attendance technologies, with fully functional biometric capabilities included.
* Which industries/sectors require CCTV and access control technologies most? People see security needs arising mostly from large corporates and government organisations.
* What are the key hurdles/challenges facing this market? There is a large shortage of skills, both on the user and supplier sides. Mustek is building a model that will address these issues. Mustek’s incubation solution consists of all the required business and technical modules, that once completed will ensure the production of a skills pool that is desperately needed in this market.
* How will South Africa performing in this sector in relation to the broader African context? Africa is far more active than South Africa. South Africa is lagging behind in implementing state of the art security solutions.
* What are some top tips/advice to security experts in SA for the year ahead? Users should align themselves with professional technology providers/partners who will add value and services if and when needed.
The local security market is no longer dictated to by the “bakkie brigade” (small independent operators that specialise in only one security aspect, such as access control or CCTV). There are now a range of credible professional technology partners around.
Users need solutions that capture evidence, not just footage.
Along with all of this, they need to have access to certified competent skills that are PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) approved and certified.