Urbanisation trends and what they mean for home security

trends in home security and urbanisation

Recently, ASSA ABLOY, the world’s largest access control solutions company, posted an article about the sub-trends in urbanization and what this would mean for the “digital homes” of the future. Here, we take a closer look at some of these sub trends and examine what they imply for the future of home security products.

Urbanisation is a well known global phenomenon. It’s the mass movement of people from rural areas to towns and cities. Urbanisation has happened at an unprecedented scale over the past few decades, with the result that for the first time in human history, more than half the world’s population lives in cities. Not only that, 70 million new urban residents are being added across the world each year.

Urbanisation naturally brings with it many changes. However, these changes occur on multiple levels. At the primary level, there are the obvious changes that come with urbanisation. As more people begin living in cities, there emerges a need for improved basic infrastructure like accommodation, hospitals, schools, and roads. This also means that cities need to be planned in order to allow for this expansion.

At the secondary level, urbanisation brings about changes in behaviour patterns. More people now live together in smaller geographic areas. They also typically work longer hours and make more money. All these secondary changes result in new desires and behaviour patterns emerging. It is in these secondary changes or sub-trends that lesser explored opportunities exist.

Here are some of the main sub trends discussed in ASSA ABLOY’s article.

Multi-family living

This is a concept that has been around for a while but is gaining more prominence as living space in cities becomes more and more limited. Multi-family living helps people get access to decent housing with basic facilities without having to pay exorbitant prices. Most first world countries, as well as many emerging economies, have transitioned to multi-family living with apartment complexes.

A multi-family living complex will have certain areas allocated as private space (that is, apartments) while certain areas like lobby, laundry room, parks, gyms will be common.

This creates a unique situation where there are two requirements

  1. Having security systems that distinguish between private and common areas.
  2. Need to allow non-residents(visitors, cleaning staff, delivery personnel etc) into some areas of the complex while restricting their access to other areas.

These unique challenges bring with it a different range of solutions – both physical and digital. Solutions range from cloud-based access management software to physical opening and locking solutions for apartment complexes. Many companies are currently creating these kinds of security systems that will become more and more commonplace going forward.

Also, over time these security systems will start being used in more diverse use cases also. For instance, for lower-end complexes where security needs are even higher due to frequent resident turnover. Another example would be their use in apartment complexes that will be constructed in the cities in emerging economies across the world.

Increase in home services

Two things have happened as a result of urbanisation and the growth it comes with. First, people have become a lot busier and are working more hours now than ever before. Second, there is more access to opportunities than ever before in history. This means global per capita incomes are increasing and people now have more money at their disposal.

With a combination of increased disposable income and lesser time availability, people have started valuing convenience more and more. This means there is a huge upward trend in home services. Whether it’s groceries delivered at home or packages delivered as clothes and other items are bought online or it’s getting a cleaning service/home chef on a regular basis.

While people greatly value the convenience of these services, they don’t want to waste their time waiting for the delivery personnel or the cleaning staff to come to their home. They would rather that these professionals enter their apartment, complete their work and leave while they are engaged in other productive activities. However, this needs to be done without compromising the security of their house of course. These challenges apply to both residents as well as small businesses who can’t invest in complex access systems.

Archaic solutions like leaving a key under a doormat or a plant simply do not work anymore. That is why sophisticated security systems have to be created to take into account secure and convenient delivery of these home services.

ASSA ABLOY believes that every home in the first world will have a digital lock in the next 10-15 years. The security systems which will provide the convenience of home services will be built on these digital lock systems.

These digital locks will have to be designed in such a way that they enable these home services to get done without compromising on security. This would also imply that locks need to be designed more as a packaged software than just the hardware. This will enable constant upgrades and a recurring revenue model which is truly in line with the digital transformation era and its concepts like smart homes and Internet of Things.

How companies need to evolve

This means that companies that provide these security systems will have to evolve in the following ways.

  1. Product Development to actually create innovative smart locks
  2. Supporting IT infrastructure to ensure these products can upgrade, scale and still say reliable
  3. Aligning sales towards selling security solutions as a software-based recurring expense than as a one-time hardware

Urbanisation and evolution of home security

Urbanisation brings with it not just a change in the cities and their infrastructure, but also a change in the mindset of people living in them. As urbanisation becomes more and more widespread, urban folks will adopt lifestyles that give them more convenience, time and freedom. Any security system worth its salt will have to take this into account.

Moreover, traditional players in home security will need to ensure that their employees and teams evolve quickly with the changing technology-led scenario. This will be the only way for them to retain market leadership and not lose ground to young tech startups.

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