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Road to Transformation: Innovative Companies, Better Jobs and a Secure Singapore

With the newly launched Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM), our private security sector looks set to undergo a sea-change.
Ready for change: Over 300 industry stakeholders attended the launch of the Security ITM. PHOTO: Mabel Yap

A new development roadmap for our private security sector, one built on innovation, sustainable business practices and a more productive workforce – this is the goal of the Security ITM.


Spearheaded by the Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with other public agencies and key stakeholders in the private security sector, the Security ITM was launched on 13 February 2018 by Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo.

Ready for Change

A snapshot of our private security sector reveals an industry that’s primed for transformation. At present, there are 240 security agencies and 600 security service providers in Singapore. These comprise both established players such as AETOS and Certis CISCO, as well as a range of smaller firms. Together, these firms employ 47,000 security officers who are deployed at industrial, commercial and residential premises. These officers play a crucial role in protecting people, managing property and deterring crime.

One challenge faced by security agencies is that some organisations take an overly broad approach to buying security services. Rather than assessing their security needs holistically, these organisations simply ask for “boots on the ground,” specify short contract periods and award to the lowest bidder. Like other manpower-centric industries in Singapore, the private security sector also faces these challenges – an ageing workforce, shrinking talent pool and higher aspirations on the part of workers.

Bringing stakeholders together: Meeting with industry players at the launch of the Security ITM. PHOTOS: Mabel Yap

Towards Smarter Solutions

Amid these challenges are exciting growth opportunities. Surveillance cameras are ubiquitous in Singapore now, and coupled with the use of video analytics software that flags anomalies – such as a break-in or crowd build-up – agencies can now be more productive and effective.

For many, it’s not a matter of having “boots on the ground” to establish a presence and deter crime, but about deploying measures that meet specific security goals. Why have 10 officers patrolling a building when three trained consultants in a mobile command centre can monitor a much larger area, respond faster, and at the same cost?

security-itm-01High-tech, roving response: Mr Eric Holmberg at his I-Man Facility Sprinter, a mobile command and control centre equipped advanced monitoring and communications equipment. PHOTO: Mike Tan

Skilled Professionals, Better Security Outcomes

Among the officers who have benefitted from this new paradigm is Mr Eric Holmberg, a Senior Security Consultant with Concorde Security. At 50, he’s a veteran of the industry who’s used to long hours walking the beat and at a closed-circuit camera terminal – the standard duties of a security officer.

But since Eric joined Concorde Security last year, his role has been completely transformed. Trained to manage a roving command centre, he’s in charge of a sophisticated video analytics system that monitors multiple cameras on-site. Whether it’s a fire alarm trigger, lift breakdown or unlocked gate, the system informs Eric’s team immediately. “Now, we can cover a larger area, watch over many more buildings and know what happened on-site,” he explained. “Because we’re constantly on the move, we can also respond more swiftly to any security incident.”

Having upgraded his skills as a security consultant, Eric is eager to take on fresh responsibilities and develop his capabilities further. “I used to do 12-hour shifts,” he explained, “but this has changed my life and improved my ability to carry out my work.”

Four Strategies

The Security ITM will employ four strategies to drive transformation. These are:

  1. Driving technology adoption and innovation: A new Security Industry Digital Plan will help security agencies level-up in terms of their use of technology.

  2. Actively promoting best sourcing: It’s not about awarding contracts to the lowest bidder, but to the agency that offers the best mix of measures for your security needs. To help companies move away from the traditional cost model, the Government will take the lead by adopting outcome-based security contracts.

  3. Aligning regulations to raise standards: Security agencies are regulated by the Singapore Police Force, and greater emphasis will be placed on standards for technology adoption, security outcomes and training.

  4. Investing in skills and career pathways: Developed by Workforce Singapore, a new Skills Framework for Security will support the train and career advancement of security officers.

At the launch of the Security ITM, Second Minister noted how the ITM would drive change in the private security sector. “Our vision is a vibrant, technologically advanced and competitive security industry that provides quality services at good value,” she said. With the support of industry stakeholders, we’re another step closer to this goal.

About the Security ITM

Click here to learn more about the Security ITM. Click here to read Second Minister’s speech at the launch of the Security ITM.

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Road to Transformation: Security Industry to Tap Innovative Security Technologies to Meet Challenges

Written by

Mike Tan


23 February 2018

Security Industry
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