Good economics make the case

Saturday, March 1, 2003

If all seems rosy for security industry software developers, there still exists the challenge of getting companies to invest in acquiring the latest technology.

Larry Bowe, director-product management and alliance development for Loronix, said the issue for the industry “is to articulate the return on investment.”

He said companies need to get away from touting “cool features” and instead focus on how software can achieve bottom-line results.

“Good software,” said Hank Goldberg, sales executive with Monitoring Automation Systems, “is going to change your bottom line by helping you with revenue and controlling expenses.”

While John Montelione, founder of Guardian Solutions, said he is excited the industry is moving at a quick pace, he said cost effectiveness is still critical. “The problem now is money. Corporations are trying to figure out how to make their security dollar work.”

One way software can stretch the security dollar, explained Frost & Sullivan Analyst Deepak Shetty, is that it “can do the work of guards and increase security while lowering costs.”

This is significant, he noted, because companies have already invested in technology and need to be convinced about the importance of further spending.

Rod Clark, marketing project coordinator for GE Interlogix-Kalatel division, said recognizing the limitations of the security infrastructure and gearing products toward the “security guy” are ways to enhance acceptance.

“We want to make software that helps the person, not impedes the job,” he said. Nor, he said, should the software require a state-of-the-art computer system to be effective.

Another way to increase its benefit, explained Alan Lipton, of ObjectVideo, is through flexibility. “Traditionally,” he said, “a lot of companies produced one-trick pony applications.” What’s happening now, Lipton said, is a move to broaden systems.

Loronix’s Bowe said increased interest in security applications following the events of Sept. 11 have accelerated solutions involving software. He predicted both video intelligence and image processing-related software will move forward more rapidly.