To see the original version of this interview, click here
What is your role in the security industry?
We created TRUSYS to advance the Art and Science of Physical Security systems designs. We call it Designing Security 3.0. As CEO of TRUSYS my first role is to find and assemble in a coherent team the best physical security people who share our vision.
My second role is to decide our business growth strategies guided by the input from our Principals. We have a pool of very capable minds working together and I get to chair their discussions. We aim to double every year for the next five years. We have to act very smart in this challenging economy.
So together we aligned our organization with a central goal: deliver the services that provide the most value to our clients. Thanks to an amazing group of innovative, intelligent, and experienced team members, TRUSYS keeps innovating. We are not the traditional security consulting firm. We stepped back from the industry to find where and how we can add more value. Here my role is to keep our innovators focused on where we can lead the value equation and to make sure our firm equips them to excel.
The last role I’d like to mention is that I am the key evangelist with our personnel and with our clients about our four core strengths, namely:
- Raising the bar on 2D and 3D CAD representation of our designs above everyone in the industry
- Which enables us to be the first to offer security designs compliant with Building Information Modeling (BIM) which is much valued by leading architects and engineers
- BIM required us to build an expertise in Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), so we acquired highly qualified Project Management personnel and developed a suite of top notch project management tools
- This attention to processes enabled us to look at enterprise level security designs and to enter the R-SEC field in 2009
How did you originally get involved in security?
Like many others in the industry, my background is in technologies; in school I concentrated my studies in electronic engineering with a specialty in data communications. Through working with several technology companies after college I expanded my understanding of technologies, but most importantly I discovered what I liked and where I excelled. I especially enjoyed security and I was happy find a position with the Aronson Security Group (ASG). At ASG, over seven years, I worked my way through a variety of positions from drafting, design, project management, estimation, to management. I am thankful to Phil and his team for what I learned and for sharing their enthusiasm for the industry.
I learned to appreciate the role of technology in a security operation and this was the lesson that provided the spring board for my next step. The ideas I had for advancing security design were too specific to fit within the services an integrator offers. So I founded TRUSYS. I feel that I now have the vehicle to serve our clients and the industry better.
How do you think the economy will affect the security industry?
The consensus of our Principals and Professionals is that this is an excellent industry to be involved in. Our research shows that the industry can expect double digit growth for the next ten years. This is driven by the increase in real and perceived threats, and for the developed economies by the aging of the baby boomers and their increased desire for safety and security. They will demand security from the organizations that serve them. This will continue to drive security growth with government agencies and especially the healthcare industry.
Not all sectors of the industry will fare equally. We foresee a continuing deflation in the price of hardware in line with the general price deflation of all technology devices. This will keep the pressure on manufacturers’ margins and push them to innovate not only with their devices but more and more with their manufacturing and marketing practices. On the other hand we believe that firms dealing in security knowledge, like TRUSYS, will do very well. As the prices of devices fall, more units will need to be integrated into coherent systems that interface well with and complement the operations of commercial and government clients. Falling prices will also continue to expand the consumer market and the rise in the general technology knowledge of consumers will create a strong Do-It-Yourself market. Although we do not participate in the consumer market, we welcome this increased consumer awareness as it will lead them to expect better security technology from their employers.
Another observation we have made is that many companies are still committed to capital projects; however they are placing more scrutiny on the purchasing process, the result is a slower procurement. This demonstrates a commitment to quality and the due diligence necessary to get it right the first time. Specifically we are seeing more companies willing to invest the time and resources to develop a stronger business case and requirements definition. As advocates of this process, TRUSYS has experienced significant growth in 2009 and expects 2010 to be very exciting as well.
Do you see any new technology affecting the security industry?
Because we sell only knowledge and experience, our Principals make an effort to track existing and emerging technologies. Anticipating the technologies that will be common in five years ensure the resilience of our designs. Our motto Designing Security 3.0 aims at keeping us aware of the convergence of security technologies and practices into the overall operations of an organization.
Obviously, like all our colleagues, we see every security appliance becoming an IP addressable. We also see a new category that we call ‘non-grid’ power supplies increasing the resilience and sustainability of security devices and we also see and increase in the use of wireless and the integration of mobile devices in security practices.
In addition, our Principals keep scouting the technology horizons in the US and around the world for innovations that may influence our industry in significant ways. At our weekly Principals’ online meeting technology news items of interest are presented. We also monitor changes in what we would describe as “technology culture” as it forecasts the future expectations of our clients’ stakeholders. We see this as one of our essential duties for the benefit of our clients. If clients rely on us to design their security systems, they need us to look beyond the current horizon.
Here are in general terms a few of the innovations we watch:
- 3D representation will become the norm. The 3D movie Avatar was the fastest ever to reach $1 billion in box office receipts. 3D video games are shaping the public’s mind to expect 3D. Click here to see some of our samples. An immediate application is Building Information Modeling (BIM) which is an object based design opposed to the traditional process of using lines, arcs, and circles in architectural design. You use real objects that are both 3D and have data associated with them. The acquisition of the shape and data related to these objects will be accelerated by technology emerging from the manufacturing sector like the Creaform3D scanners.
- Geo- location combined with Augmented Reality will be game changers. Overlaying 3D images and data will enhance responders’ information. Click here for a table top example; or here for an IPhone example. Hand held devices like phones will provide real time location of guards as they patrol and they will equip responders with facilities data. Security installers will be able to access 3D data of the work they are supposed to do and to get real time mark-ups, or answers to their questions and finally they will document As-Builts better than was ever possible.
- We also see convergence with the world of video games to develop simulations. You can see an early example with RescueSim, a Netherlands software that uses gaming technology to help simulate real life emergencies. We forecast that simulations will revolutionize R-SEC practices leading to very realistic 3D digital environments combined with sophisticated decision tools like Monte Carlo simulations.
- We see new talent entering our industry and shaking it up. The coming generation of workers is extremely proficient with technology. While they will respect our traditional security knowledge base, they will challenge the industry to change faster than ever. They will enter the industry with agile development training and attitude. We see first the design quality bar being risen substantially followed by demand for faster designing processes. The digital video industry is educating thousands of talented young people who will be attracted to our industry, for example see the contribution a 25 year old digital compositor, Chris van Dyck, has made to the movie industry.
What do you see as the security industry’s biggest challenge?
Our industry’s biggest challenge is to bring it all together: converging networked technology and talent. Convergence forces us to take a holistic view of our clients’ requests. Security incidents, emergency or crisis situations, and worker safety are all pieces of the greater picture. The challenge lies in integrating the correct combination of solutions that ensures business continuity. Too many organizations have silos of expertise ranging from risk management, cyber security, physical security, safety, and emergency & crisis management. We believe the answer is an integrated approach that bridges these functions. Convergence forces us to consider how a decision in one silo of expertise affects the other areas of the firm and avoid negative unexpected consequences of a technology, policy or methodology choice.
What do you believe is the largest growth area in security?
Knowledge – the security industry constantly needs to acquire new knowledge and it needs to keep disseminating this knowledge through education. We are encouraged by the leadership an organization like ASIS provides in this area. Threats to our clients will come from a wider span of sources and in ever sophisticated forms. Research in best practices and technology and continued innovation is what we all owe our clients.
Has physical security changed (devices, posture or storage) as a result of the War on terror?
I think the easy answer is yes, but it may not be a direct result of terrorism, rather a result of funding which has led to research and development, which has led to change. Government applications are better funded and the applications usually more critical. As these advanced technologies mature they will find applications into the commercial market, like thermal imagery or forward looking infrared known as FLIR. It is like landing a man on the moon – it was a government led initiative that has change how we live and prosper in multiple very practical ways.
What would you tell a person just getting started in the security industry? What area of the security industry would you point them towards? Why?
One of our Principal likes to quote what he learned from a business school professor.
1. Choose an industry that is growing faster than the economy. You have that with the security industry.
2. Choose an area of that industry that is growing faster than the industry.
3. Inside that area find a company that is growing faster than its competitors.
4. Find a way to join them. Be humble, start with them regardless of the position.
5. Then, work harder than everyone else!
If you are really ambitious – do the research and figure out the answers to these questions.
You can contact TRUSYS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-Free: 800-905-6810