No one could have predicted that 2020 was going to turn out the way it did. The collective events of the year have and will be forever ingrained in history and have transformed the structure of the world.
This Security Benchmark Report was designed to provide quantitative analysis on the top challenges facing the physical security industry in 2020. Within the framework of the survey, some compelling trends centered on the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
300+ security professionals in the U.S. were surveyed on their top challenges and the impact the events of 2020 had on their business. The majority of security guard firms in the data set employ under 250 guards, bill less than 25,000 hours per month, and have an average of 10-15 clients.
The 3 Biggest Impacts of 2020 on Physical Security
Through the data collected from the benchmark report, 3 common themes have come up as security operations of all sizes look to adapt in 2021 and beyond.
People - A Changing Workforce
Throughout 2020, a common theme for the physical security industry is how the workforce is changing. One of the top challenges continues to be hiring and turnover – this has been amplified by the economic downturn from client lockdowns.
A resulting impact beyond turnover is a reduction in on-site resources, more lone workers and remote supervisors. Managing a smaller, and remotely dispersed workforce created a need for security company owners to adapt their business operations.
Process - Focusing on Health & Safety
As with many other industries and institutions, new processes and protocols for safety and health had to be implemented. In many ways, the security officer is that front-line worker that has to not only enforce security but ensure safety protocols.
Changing regulations and rules required better communication between supervisors and officers on getting these processes to the field and ensuring that they are effectively trained on them.
Technology - Remote Operations Require Increased Data Access
As the industry changes the norms of operations in response to the first two themes, technology becomes more and more critical to support those changes. There has been a renewed focus on technologies that enable officers to operate safely, allows supervisors to get real-time information to and from the field, and allows for greater visibility and control when not physically on-site.
If there is one word that sums up the 2020 trends in physical security, it is adaptability. Through all 3 of these challenges and trends, the ability to adapt people, processes and technology has enabled security businesses to come out on the other side of these events.