This is echoed in my design and consulting experience. Many of the older systems we work on are not integrated. Our clients typically express that this is because at the time of design and installation the purchasing, programming, and maintenance of PLCs and network communications was complicated and expensive. Increasingly, however, as the security industry is influenced more and more by dedicated professionals and the average client's understanding and expectations of technology grows these integrations become more attainable, affordable, and necessary. Additionally, the data and evidence these integrations provide can be analysed by many different business management systems (to use an extremely general term for a broad number of systems that benefit from PSI), further increasing the ROI.
My firm's practice is to specify as many integrations as possible. Intrusion detection system, PSIM, building management, fire and life safety systems, VSS and access system integration provides 'defense in depth' by improving the response time, decision making and effectiveness of responders. Additionally, from an investigations standpoint the coordinated nature of physical protection system reports can be important in the resolution and give veracity to those reports in litigation.
Many of our projects rely heavily on highly engineered security communications systems, and many projects with high levels of integration require PLCs. While this level of design may be too costly for small to medium enterprises, it should be a budgetary priority to create basic integrations, particularly when much of the configuration work is done by a VMS or ACMS. After all, if at the end of the day the systems the client ends up with don't provide a high return on investment, it'll be hard to get them to increase future security system expenditures (that includes maintenance and service agreements). Security integrations provide security metrics and those metrics have a tremendous impact on future investments in security.
Not only do integrations provide greater return on investment to our client's, it presents an opportunity to continue helping your clients and customers meet their needs.