Nowadays, no one needs to be convinced of the benefits of innovation in various spheres of human life and society as a whole, from ensuring state security to smart building systems to create comfortable living and working conditions. But is the way of new technologies to the consumer that simple?
After visiting exhibitions and reading thematic magazines, one gets the impression that the time of artificial intelligence has long come. You have full biometric ACS, and cameras that can recognize and guide an object according to many parameters – gender, the color of clothing, the presence of a mask, etc. For cars, it is the number, make, color of the body, etc. The possibilities of video analytics are endless. It would seem that here it is, the future has arrived! But here a question arises: how many places are already using these modern systems?
To date, they are actively used by several major banks, headquarters of state corporations, and strategic objects. That’s all!
In this article I will try to figure out what exactly is holding up the march of technological progress.
What are the reasons for the slow adoption of new technologies?
Why are innovations not implemented as quickly as they should be? There are many reasons for this, both general and private, depending on the specific sphere, organization and people. I will analyze the main ones below.
Conservative thinking of people
Even Shakespeare said that man is more inclined to “put up with the familiar evil than to run to the unfamiliar. Application of innovations is always associated with additional worries: it is installation of new equipment, studying its work, training of personnel. Why such a headache, when everything more or less works already?
The price of a question
Since vendors, seeking to “cream cream”, overpriced for the latest developments, the purchase and installation of new equipment requires a serious financial investment.
Imagine this situation: the security chief comes to the financial director of an enterprise and says “we need to buy an installation with artificial intelligence, which will replace four security guards,” and names the amount. To which he replies: “I could pay their salaries for that money for ten years, and I’ll hold them responsible if anything happens. And what’s the demand on this car?”
Lack of confidence in the characteristics of the goods declared by the manufacturer
We are not talking about deliberate deception, although it also happens on the market. The vendor just sometimes supplies hardware that cannot work correctly in the conditions the customer wants. For instance, something that works well in a 50-person office can start to malfunction when loaded with 500 people, or it can’t stand the environmental conditions. In such cases, it’s not just the manufacturer’s fault. Problems here can be caused by mistakes of a sales manager, who failed to choose the right equipment, or the customer himself, who incorrectly drafted the terms of reference: “that’s what we want, to make it cheaper and better”.
Insufficient qualification of installers
As you know, if a system is installed incorrectly, it will never work properly. I remember 10 years ago, when the first 16-camera IP-based video systems were installed, they stopped working after some time had passed (cameras disconnected, systems froze, etc.).
There was already a question of breaking the contract and replacing IP-systems by analog. It was good that the vendor’s tech support team had an engineer who explained what the bit rate was, the network bandwidth, what different camera streams were for and much more. We spent hours on the phone configuring the systems. And oh my god!
The systems worked fine and they still do. My point is that the quality of the security equipment, and therefore the reputation of the vendor in the eyes of the end user largely depends on the installer. After all, no installer will tell the customer that “the system has not met expectations because I am incompetent”. Rather, he will say that the equipment is bad.
And then the manufacturer’s representative will run around proving that this is not true.
Specifics of customers and some methods of working with them
In this article I have outlined the main reasons for the slow growth of the sales market of security equipment, especially innovative equipment. But it is possible to increase sales by thoughtful work with the customer, using appropriate marketing techniques.
In state enterprises, as a rule, work is done with specific people who make decisions or give sound recommendations. Although the bidding system does not allow the budget enterprise to decide with a particular firm, a way out of this situation is usually found.
As a rule, money is counted in commerce, so the main issue here is the price-quality ratio and economic efficiency of the investment. Moreover, while big businesses with expenditures on new security equipment making up a negligible part of their turnover can afford premium equipment, for medium-sized businesses the cost and efficiency are top priorities in their purchases.
The main ways to attract the attention of representatives of the above groups of customers to their products are:
Informing about new vendor developments – exhibitions, webinars, presentations;
well-founded calculations that show the cost-effectiveness of implementing new equipment;
reasonable pricing policy;
trial delivery of some systems, allowing the customer to see clearly the reliability and convenience of new equipment.
As for small businesses and private customers, it requires a completely different approach, based on marketing techniques.
But companies that succeed in creating demand for security systems in this market segment are guaranteed a sharp rise in sales of their products.