The command and control room and public safety answering point (PSAP) market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1 percent from $5.4 billion in 2015 to reach $7.6 billion in 2020, according to IHS Markit. Major factors spurring market growth include national public safety initiatives like Firstnet and NG911 in the United States, technology integration and system interoperability, the increasing value placed on “big data” and analytics, and control room consolidation.
“While growth in the public safety sector — the control room market’s largest industry — has recently been stagnant, we expect strong growth over the next four years,” said Alexander Richardson, Market Analyst for Critical Communications, IHS Markit. “The control room market has become extremely dynamic as of late, because of the variety of suppliers competing in the space and the range of technologies used within command and control rooms and PSAPs.”
Although voice dispatch and other technology markets are experiencing slower growth, investment in computer-aided dispatch (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS), records-management software (RMS) and other systems is picking up, according the IHS Markit Command and Control Intelligence Service – 2016. In the United States for instance, a number of public safety agencies have refreshed their CAD systems over the last two years, as the technologies reach their end of life after 12 to 15 years in service. In India, by comparison, large states are placing an emphasis on regionally integrated CAD and GIS systems, to improve the efficiency of emergency response.
Across industries, IHS Markit has observed a convergence in control-room functions. Where there were once dedicated communications and security control centres, operators are now seeking to combine these capabilities. The CAD system is the focal point of this movement — paving the way in the integration of various forms of data. Video dispatching is now also becoming a reality, with trials taking place in Asia and Africa. “It is evident that the dispatcher’s role is changing, as more data becomes available and GIS is used to visualise the location of this information,” Richardson said.
Big changes in emergency response are expected over the next 15 to 20 years, especially in the public safety sector. “Not only will 911 become just another number, but Cloud, broadband networks and video surveillance are also spurring changes in control rooms, offering huge growth potential to the market,” Richardson said. “While growth in voice dispatch and licensed mobile radio technology markets will be influenced by the traction of public safety broadband networks, other market forecasts for CAD, GIS, RMS, 911-call-taking software and other technologies are very favourable.”