7 Foundational Trends That Our Industry Just Cannot Ignore

Last month, SIA announced the top 10 Security Megatrends that will shape our industry for years to come, but there are numerous trends we can’t ignore – trends that are so powerful, that we consider them foundational trends. We’ll be following these foundational trends with dives into some of the 2024 Megatrends, but let’s kick off this series with these core-level factors that are shaping the industry:



From global tensions that play out in the form of cyber espionage to ones involving tanks, terror attacks and remote drone strikes, global tensions are a constant mark on the radar of business and security. Security and business leaders have to think ahead: How will this conflict affect my overseas or traveling team members? What will this mean for our sourcing, shipping and market sector growth?



Cybersecurity has long reigned supreme among the megatrends, but today it’s 100% foundational. Security executives who are not thinking about cybersecurity, planning for a cyber incident and building their internal resources are missing the obvious. In November 2023, the “Cyberav3ngers” working for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps breached the networks of multiple U.S. water/ wastewater utilities, and this kind of breach barely registered any media attention—that’s how accustomed the world has become to cyberattacks, and that’s why security leaders must be steadfast in their attention to this concern. Convergence of cybersecurity and physical security continues to progress, and to help support the industry with cybersecurity and convergence resources, SIA operates a Cybersecurity Advisory Board, dedicated to providing insights and resources in this foundational area.



Cloud services were long a Security Megatrend, but today cloud is just part of how technology services are deployed, with even most of the software-and-server companies now offering their solutions as cloud-delivered solutions. And while cloud leaders like Ken Francis of Eagle Eye Networks told the audience at SNG 2023 that the security industry still has a long way to go in terms of transforming its offerings as cloud-based services, we think this now has become such a core option to technology delivery that we’re calling it a “foundational trend.”



After a relatively long period of steady economic growth that benefited from consistently “normal” (read: low) inflation and low interest rates, today’s business leaders are facing more volatility and uncertainty, increased inflation and higher interest rates. Anyone who thought we’d snap out of that period of economic uncertainty came to be sorely disappointed, and today this volatility is just fundamental to today’s economic conditions.


When supply chains of all types ground to a near halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain assurance earned the attention it has always deserved. As Wesco’s Bill Geary said at SNG 2023, “[The focus on the] supply chain is growing and has a prominence in the C-suite that it never had before. Companies are looking at it in a different way, and that focus will be a driver.”



Hiring is difficult; unemployment remains low, and roles across the security industry—from guards to technicians to systems architects—require even more skills than ever before. Companies need to focus on core activities like working with local universities, colleges and trade schools, and the industry needs to continue to bond together through groups like the Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST) to demonstrate career paths and help market the industry as a great destination for a rewarding and fulfilling technical career.



Designing solutions and systems for increased energy efficiency is becoming the norm, even if an environmental, social and governance approach to business hasn’t become a standard. Companies are also seeking to reduce waste, reduce energy costs of production and operation and connect sustainability with their bottom lines. Sustainability isn’t just about your carbon footprint and natural resources—it’s also about sustainable economic growth and your social sustainability, including at the human level. As ASSA ABLOY Director of Sustainable Builiding Solutions Amy Musanti remarked to the 2023 SNG audience, “If it’s important to our customer, it’s important to us.” As part of this foundational trend SIA created an ESG Advisory Board in fall 2023 to provide guidance for members navigating this aspect of their businesses. For a comparison datapoint: 33% of SIA members surveyed in the fall of 2023 said they expected sustainability initiatives to make a strong impact on their business or product strategy within the next 5 years. At SIA, we expect that percentage will climb steadily, particularly as sustainability commitments come to our industry.