LUSAX anticipates security future

Are deadbolts dying out? Will keys soon be a thing of the past? What do end users want – and will security companies rise to their needs in time? These and many other questions are currently being looked at by LUSAX, a joint research program between Lund University in Sweden, and companies ASSA ABLOY, Securitas Systems and Axis Communication.

“There has been significant interest and progress made in security research, especially from a technology perspective,” says Dr. Thomas Kalling, Associate Professor, Lund University’s School of Economics and Management and co-director of LUSAX. “However, we believe LUSAX is unique in that it will be taking both a combined technical and business-oriented perspective.”

Security Informatics
LUSAX recently developed a specific research area to study the rapid changes taking place in the security industry, driven by the convergence of information, communication and security technology.

The overall aim of the research is to study how this particular type of convergence will generate new kinds of products and businesses. Three areas are of special interest: new business models, the management of alliances, and identification of future customer requirements. LUSAX is using security informatics to study the structure, behavior, and interactions of natural and artificial systems that store, process and communicate information.

With the interaction of the LUSAX company partners, the research team (made up of Kalling, co-director Dr. Konrad Tollmar and PHD students) is developing a conceptual and theoretical foundation for this new area and with good cause: the fast growing security industry is worth billions of US dollars and growing on the whole by 10% annually. In certain segments – for instance network surveillance cameras – the annual growth rate currently exceeds 50%.

While it is hard to pinpoint the exact total worth of the security industry because of the many sectors, services and products it encompasses, the Freedonia Group research firm says the US market for electronic security alarms and related products alone will reach USD 4.6 billion by 2010.

Learn from others
Tollmar says that security businesses should adopt new IT technologies especially in their core business models. “They need to focus on development and have credibility and trustability in everything they do. They also need to apply end-user information, form partnerships and learn how other industries such as Telecom handled convergence in the past,” he says.

The goal of the LUSAX research project is to contribute to the understanding of methodologies and tools to better understand future markets and service industries, adds Kalling. “With the help of our three partners, LUSAX can become the academic world leader in this field when it comes to understanding the managerial challenges and the competitive edge it takes to succeed within the security business.”  

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