The Security Industry is in the midst of a convergence with Information Technology.
Convergence refers to the union of two separate industries. The combination results in significant changes that impact technologies, products, manufacturers, supply channels and buying processes. The resulting industry usually looks very different and often creates a new class of products and services that were not previously possible.
Convergence has occurred in other industries. The convergence of telephony, computers and data communications in the late 1980's and early 1990's resulted in the current telecommunications industry - and created new products, services and companies that did not exist a decade earlier.
IP-based telephony systems for enterprise businesses were introduced in the mid 1990's. By 2004, the worldwide sales of IP telephony ports equaled sales of traditional PBX ports. Today, sales of IP telephony ports outpace PBX ports by more than 2 to 1.
Like enterprise telephony, the security industry is converging. Convergence has already impacted how products are built (analog cameras to digital cameras), what companies provide products (Axxon software, Axis cameras, Cisco video servers), sales channels (Data Communication distributors Anixter, Graybar) and the buying process. Many organizations have given their IT department full responsibility for the security system. IP-enabled card readers, cameras, network attached storage systems and standard databases resemble most other IT systems. Security becomes another application on top of the existing IT infrastructure.
Security industry analysts like IMS Research and J.P. Freeman predict that sales of network cameras will eventually exceed sales of analog cameras for security applications.