17 May 2013
My Week – 13-18 May 2013.
I have learned a great deal of useful information this week at the NEC at Birmingham. FIREX 2013 was a major marketing event for NSI as the growth in the fire sector is fast and furious reflecting the risk based approach now being undertaken by many end user organisations. We welcomed a large number of visitors to the NSI stand and made many new and positive future contacts. I was proud to have been asked to be a judge for the IFSEC and FIREX Awards again this year and to present the “Intruder Alarm or Exterior Deterrent Product of the Year” to Ken Li, the CEO of the Chuango Security Technology Company for their GSM/SMS RFID Touch Alarm System. Congratulations are in order to all of the winners and indeed all of the entrants for the sheer quality and depth of their submissions. I do think that adding the fire domain into the awards sends a strong message and many NSI alarm companies are even now adding fire detection and alarm into their capability portfolio. Diversification is key these days – keeping all of one’s proverbial eggs in the one basket in the current economic conditions is risky. As I write, the US stock exchange has hit a high – let us hope that this signals the start of a genuine financial recovery this year.
On Tuesday, I spent a day with Tyco at their Global Accounts Advisory Council and met with a group of influential and highly knowledgeable end users. The main lesson I took away was the future impact which physical security integration management (PSIM) software and Near Field Communications (NFC) technology will have on the sector. Neither of these technologies should be under-estimated and I suspect that we will hear much more about both. It is a sobering statistic that by the end of this year, there will be more mobile phone registrations than human beings living on the planet!
I talked to the conference about the concept of VUCA, an acronym which stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Chaos and Ambiguity – a management paradigm for the ever changing and disruptive world in which we live today. There is of course an antidote to VUCA – but you will have to contact me if you want to know how to survive and prosper under these circumstances – and it will cost you a little cash!
On Wednesday I delivered a State of the Nation talk at IFSEC along with speakers from IPSA, ADS and the BSIA. I highlighted the risks involved of the 3-D printing of handguns. This new technology has the potential to revolutionise the way that business is done – it could negate the need for factories and supply chains with home or community production becoming centres of trade in their own right – back to real cottage industries of old. But that is some way off as yet. The more evil and worrying downside is that 3-D printing of a weapon is already here and the so called ‘Liberator’ hand gun has now been successfully test fired in the USA. Home production of such weapons is viable if one has the right equipment and the right pattern and I am sure that a bigger, more accurate and more reliable version of the gun will not be too far behind. The genie is now out of the bag and authorities across the world will now have to deal with the consequences.
I would also highlight the ‘Engineers of Tomorrow’ and the excellent ‘100 in 100’ apprenticeship scheme which NSI are proud to be involved with again this year. For more information call 08450 75011, email email@example.com or go to the CSL website.
Thursday saw me in Kettering for the annual conference of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management (ICPEM) which I chair. There was a galaxy of star speakers including Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher who had to deal with the Buncefield incident and police Commander Bob Broadhurst who told us about his personal ‘Black Swan’ experience during the G20 protests in London. There were lots of lessons about forming a resilient organisation and anyone interested in Disaster Management or Emergency Planning would do well to consider joining the ICPEM – see the website at www.icpem.net
Overall, it is clear that the security industry is undoubtedly changing radically. There is no previous period of change which remotely resembles that which we are about to experience. To paraphrase Al Gore’s words – it is a difference not just of degree but of kind. We may have experienced periods of evolution before – but none as powerful or as pregnant with those two fraternal twins – peril and opportunity – as those which are now beginning to unfold before us. Nor have we ever experienced so many changes unfolding simultaneously and convergent with one another both technologically and culturally.
So, Friday is all about catching up after a week away from Maidenhead – just a few e-mails to read then! I am looking forward to meeting more NSI approved companies next week as they come and receive their framed medals and have photographs taken at NSI Headquarters. These fabulous medals look terrific in any boardroom, MD’s office or company reception and highlight the commitment that the organisation has made to quality and high standards – if you have not ordered yours as yet, then what are you waiting for???