2020 represents the start of a new year and a new decade. But how will the next decade be different to the last? Change can be scary, but it can also be positive. Corps Security embraces change because it pushes to improve as a business and develop in line with our customer’s evolving needs. Last year saw huge trends emerge in technology-led services, civil unrest and other threats, and security officer requirements.

Here are the changes that Corps believes will shape the security industry over the next decade.

A hybrid model

If security companies invest wisely in both technology and their people, they can create a hybrid business model that helps customers to maintain the highest standards while lowering their costs.

New state-of-the-art technology will make customers safer and more efficient. The savings made from these efficiencies can then be reinvested back into the business to upskill colleagues and attract and retain the best talent.

There are challenges. Brexit is likely to impact the labour pool availability and the 6.2% National Minimum Wage increase has stretched the financial budget within organisations, thus affecting the security industry’s margins. However, endorsing this pay increase shows organisations are actively trying to support lower income households, as well as help to attract, retain and train the best talent to create a workforce that is happier, more engaged, and more effective. At Corps, we are always looking for new ways to work smarter. We aim to pay staff well in a positive, tech-savvy and supportive working environment.

Formatting a hybrid solution offers the best of both worlds between technology and traditional security. Moving to a blended model can make the most of the budget and help everyone work smarter to achieve great results.

Research into facial recognition surged in 2019. It’s a great example of how technology and security are merging to make people safer – though ‘grey areas’ around ethics, privacy and usage still need to be addressed in order for there to be clearer terms, facial recognition can be used to protect locations and people involved. Whatever changes service providers make to their business will have an undeniable effect on clients and it’s important to have them front of mind during any process of change.

The evolving role of a security officer

Front-of-house will play an important part in manned guarding provisions with security officers now doubling up as brand ambassadors. Security officers may act as a first point of contact for the public, for example manning a reception desk or giving directions at the entrance to an office building. The use of technology in terrorism has also meant officers need to be upskilled so that they can react to such situations to keep people safe. The recent assassination of Iran’s Qasem Soleimani by drone highlights both the evolving nature of security threats and the danger if this type of technology were to one day fall into the wrong hands.

Civil unrest

2020 predictions can be hard to pinpoint, so much can happen in a small space of time. However, 2019 suggests security providers should pre-empt and plan for civil unrest to grow in an ever more complex and evolving society. This is no more apparent than in political and environmental public opinion, with several Brexit and Extinction Rebellion protests having taken place in recent months. These demonstrations show a growing public voice and whilst it isn’t something to criticise, things can easily get out of hand. For Corps, that means being cautious and communicating with our city-based customers to ensure they too are mindful of the impact of civil unrest.

There will be curveballs thrown in 2020, as we’ve seen with the recent coronavirus outbreak, but with developed business models, continuous and efficient communication and a greater understanding of technology, the security industry can prepare for these challenges, ensuring clients, staff and the public are safe.