Can't you feel the energy?

SSN Staff  - 
Monday, April 1, 2002

Maybe it was the glitz and glamour of the playground that is Las Vegas, or perhaps it was the brand new convention center that at least had somewhat edible food (although still way overpriced). But something else was afoot this time around at the ISC show this year, a buzz that had absolutely nothing to do with rumors of who Tyco is buying next.

I've never seen so many extremely focused people darting around the floor at the ISC show, intent on meeting as many people as possible and investigating new products, companies and ways to offer their customers the most technologically up to date, reliable and cost effective solutions for whatever their needs.

When asked their opinion about this year's show, exhibitors and attendees alike told me, "best show ever" or "too much to see and not enough time". One could argue that since there are only so many opportunities throughout the year for this type of face to face interaction that you always hear that type of talk.

But there was something different this time. There was a genuine undercurrent of energy at the show, a feeling that the industry is on the cusp of something great and huge and potentially permanent; a change in the way of life for corporate America and Capital Hill and even Main Street and it all depends on you. The installers. The integrators. The manufacturers. The consultants who make recommendations to people with a lot of money looking to invest in something big and trendy but something with some staying power, too. That's the security industry.

All the signs point to it, the plethora of new products, the scores of show attendees and exhibitors, and the funding that has been trickling and is now pouring into the industry, both from private sources as well as the individual investor in the stock market.

These are the signs of a healthy industry. According to RCW Mirus, a research and consulting firm in Boston, private equity investments in the security industry grew a staggering 133 percent from 2000 to 20001, a time when overall venture capital funding was down 72 percent. That obviously doesn't even take into account the effects of Sept. 11 on the market today.

It's here, it's now, and its up to the industry to make the most of it.