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The end goal is to enhance the existing products and make them more intelligent and help the customer reduce false alarms and bring their total security experience to the next level. But Inder Reddy, Honeywell Security and Fire, says there are actually two schools of thought on where monitoring may be headed. “Some customers have absolutely said ‘We want to leverage our expertise so we are going to get out of the monitoring business and focus on customer service. ’ But as software becomes more and more the way to do things, you could make the case that SaaS types of services are much more scalable and you don’t need to be so large to have economies of scale. For the moment it seems that a lot of active central stations are looking to outsource to wholesale and reapply that cash to grow their RMR business. ”Pam Petrow, Vector Security, also senses change in the wind. “Consumers’ willingness to take on responsibility for some aspects of monitoring will continue to change the industry. Whether it is a DIY with 100 percent self monitoring, or some subset of events the customer self monitors, this will impact the next evolution of monitoring. In addition, the way the monitoring centers communicate with the consumer is evolving … to be more responsive to consumers, communicating with them via the venues they prefer — this relates to alarm response, service requests, billing payment options, and even sales. ”Staying current is top of mind for most manufacturers, but with so much outside of the industry competition, it is even more critical for residential security manufacturers and their dealers. “That is what guides our product development going forward,” NAPCO's Jorge Hevia says.

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It's important to note that in some areas you may have to file for a permit to have a security system installed in your home. Nearly all of the latest DIY and high end home security systems offer support for voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and in some cases Apple Siri, which allows you to unlock doors, change thermostat settings, open the garage, and arm or disarm your system with a spoken command to a connected device like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home speaker. Many also offer support for IFTTT If This Then That applets, which use triggers from IFTTT compatible web services and devices to create an action. For example, you can create an applet that says if a garage door is opened to turn on the floodlight. Whether you decide to go with a DIY system or opt for a professionally installed system, you'll have to pay a monthly or annual fee if you require monitoring, and in some cases, you'll be hit with a monthly fee to pay off the cost of hardware components. With most DIY systems, such as the SimpliSafe Home Security Kit, the Ring Alarm Security Kit, and the Nest Secure, you purchase the hardware outright and can avoid any monthly fees if you decide to self monitor.