There’s no doubt that security coverage service is changing. In fact, there’s something of a paradigm shift that’s been happening in the way people consume products and media for some time now. The phrase ‘as a service’ (XaaS) has started to penetrate several markets as thrifty consumers have changed the way they buy. In many cases, people will opt for a subscription model, rather than a one-time fee to own a product or license. While there has been a monumental shift in the entertainment industry because of the move to as a service business models, we’ve recently seen the security industry undergo a similar adaptation, and it’s worth considering whether or not the new way is actually the better way.
The Rise of ‘XaaS’
The general public most likely became familiar with the shift to the as a service business model with the introduction and following ubiquity of programs like Netflix or Spotify. Rather than spending .99 on a single song through iTunes – the last paradigm shift that ushered the downfall of the brick and mortar record store – consumers would pay Spotify monthly fee for access to a comprehensive library of music that would constantly evolve. Netflix worked the same way. Originally a service that would send a physical movie to your home, later evolved into the instant streaming service we know today, customers used their money to show that they would rather pay a monthly fee for access to a large selection of movies and television shows than drive to the video store to rent something for the weekend. We’ve seen this business model take over a number of other industries as well. Microsoft Office has adopted it, the Adobe Creative Suite now charges a monthly fee, and Apple has even launched Apple Music, a direct competitor to Spotify, and a very telling sign that the as a service model is preferable to a wide audience. Recently, the security industry has seen more products enter the space with an XaaS mentality.
Home Security As a Service Solutions
In the last two years, Ring released their dual-purpose video camera/doorbells. Along with this, they offer cloud storage services allowing you to back up footage recorded with the device, billed on a monthly or annual basis. August Home and Nest have also released their version of the doorbell cam which aim to provide peace of mind, and stop thieves from taking packages off your doorstep or attempting to break into your home. These devices are easy to set up and are far less expensive than traditional home security service packages, with no multi-year commitment. Another thing they share in common is that they’re all intended for residential use, and it remains to be seen what kind of penetration – if any – they will see in the commercial or industrial space.
Of course, commercial and industrial facilities generally need more and higher-end security measures than residential properties. As they’re larger in scale, they often require several cameras, keypads, and whatever other devices that fit their specific security needs. These implements require professional installation to ensure that they are working properly before relying on them, and DIY methods are inadvisable. That doesn’t, however, mean that the commercial and industrial space won’t start to see the trickle effect of home security as a service.
Security and the ‘As a Service’ Model
As users experience XaaS business models in their home, naturally they will start to expect a similar level of service in their workplace, and security providers will have to stay nimble in order retain relevancy. Security companies will need to continue to emphasize value, offering improved IT expertise, the ability to transmit larger amounts of data, and the willingness to stay current when it comes to their customers’ desired trends. The same person who was willing to spend $8.99 on a copy of Fletch (1985) is more than likely willing to spend $13.99/mo on a Netflix account because of the additional breadth of content available. The same is true for end-users looking for security coverage. Security providers must focus on adding value to ensure that their savvy customers don’t seek service elsewhere.
It’s unlikely that as a service business models will be going away any time soon. Subscription models have proven appealing to today’s consumers, and it’s only a matter of time before this affects the buying habits of security executives in the workplace. Agile security companies who are willing and quick to offer added services that improve the user experience will rise to the top.