The 30 Top Technology Innovations of 2021

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While getting your hands on new — or any for that matter — products at present has become a challenging prospect due to supply chain entanglements, enterprising manufacturers and developers are continuing to fill the pipeline with inventive and exciting solutions.

Like the deployment of a powerful, surgical strike detonated to break up ports of trades’ massive container ship logjams, SSI’s 2021 Top 30 Technology Innovations has arrived to deliver a free-flowing avalanche of the security industry’s most intriguing new offerings.

Providing a probe into such leading-edge solutions is even more critical when one considers the pandemic’s ongoing effects on the industry. Although ISC and GSX returned as in-person trade shows in the second half of 2021, participation was a fraction of what these pacesetting events typically draw.

Thus, throughout the past year as shows and conferences were for the most part canceled or flipped into virtual affairs, dealers and integrators lost out on the customary and all-important face-to-face interactions and demonstrations, in-person eye tests, and hands-on experiences typically afforded them.

Despite advances in means and platforms, electronic communication ultimately pales in comparison.

Thankfully, as it has for more than 15 years, SSI’s Top 30 program ferrets out the key trends coursing through the electronic access control, fire/life-safety, intrusion detection and video surveillance sectors as well as security business operations itself.

Last year, a new wrinkle in compiling this list emerged as a manifestation of the pandemic, with light being shined on offerings capable of meeting COVID-related safety needs —ushering in a new subcategory. It continues to be to the industry’s great credit in stepping up with slick solutions that have helped the world weather a crisis going on two years now.

The devices, software and resources cited in this annual list are aimed at helping dealers/integrators realize potential benefits that encompass fulfilling the industry’s mission of providing superior security and safety; more effectively running their company; optimizing installations, systems monitoring and service; heightening profitability; and growing customer bases.

Staying a step ahead of today’s evermore competitive security landscape means providers not only have to offer the latest and greatest products and solutions but also implement the deftest tools to facilitate fast, error-free deployments and the most intelligent business software to optimize efficiencies.

The Top 30 Technology Innovations of the Year is more than a typical product awards program (the industry has more than enough of those!). It does not involve submissions for eligibility, fees, judging biases or vendor favors. It also is not limited to products alone as services or any instrument that can muster better outcomes is fair play.

However, the most intriguing element is that the selections are flagged by SSI’s unbiased technical editors and their many decades of in-the-trenches security experience.

Once again, veteran SSI columnists Paul Boucherle (Business Fitness) and Bob Dolph (Tech Talk) have each selected 15 items spanning the spectrum of smart and savvy installing contractor implements.

Boucherle’s commercial enterprise background is reflected in his choices ranging from Cloud platforms to managed services to tracking and AI, with an eye on the corporate end user as well as the integrator.

Dolph, a renowned installation and technical expert, gravitates toward system components and infrastructure, with a particularly keen eye on inventive and intuitive tech tools. He also zeroes in on the smart home.

One of the industry’s most significant trends the past 10 years of shifting the emphasis on selling “boxes” (hardware or equipment) to instead upgrading via software has never been more conspicuous among the Top 30. That’s encouraging news for those looking to circumvent channel roadblocks of physical goods and for companies embracing remote services to reduce truck rolls, thereby cutting costs and increasing efficiencies.

Congratulations to those comprising 2021’s SSI Top 30 Technology Innovations, from which security pros can check off their holiday lists and use to fuel growth in 2022 and beyond.

View the Top 30 Technology Innovations of 2021

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