Awards are everywhere: Who cares?

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09/10/2009
I'm a little out straight putting out our October issue (not that you care), so I wanted to point those of you who don't go there regularly to John Honovich's post on industry awards. It's great stuff. I would only change the title to be, "Awards benefit manufacturers, not end users or integrators, and maybe no one." His point is that the awards are mostly granted with amorphous and undefined criteria, there's no rigid testing, and it's usually pay to play. Therefore, what good are they? They're just marketing tools for manufacturers. I agree with all of that. We don't do awards here at SSN for that very reason - we don't have the staffing to do them properly. However, I think you can make the argument that the awards don't benefit the manufacturers either, because no one really puts in any stock in them. So while manufacturers waste time and energy garnering awards and promoting their awards, no one really cares and most of that effort is for naught. Maybe there are integrators out there who think to themselves, "Gosh, I've never heard of BRS Labs, but they just won an award from ASIS, so I better pay attention." Maybe not. It's true that I often link to awards results and say something snarky and that does get them some recognition they wouldn't otherwise have gotten, and the other publications often make a big to-do out of their own awards, which garners recognition, so I shouldn't say they're value-less for manufacturers, but the whole rigamarole just seems so pointless. Why don't organizations like ASIS promote awards for their members? A security director of the year award would highlight one of their members and provide yet another benefit for the dues. The winning member would get a line item for the resume and the other members would learn about her/his ideas for best practices in the award write-up, and maybe steal a few things. Maybe they do that and they just don't put press releases out about it. At least those Sammys are given out to integrators and installers, and there are tricks of the trade to be stolen from the write-ups.

Comments

When I was an integrator, I paid attention to awards. I know a lot of other integrators who do as well.

On the other hand, your viewpoint is consistent with other industry insiders I spoke with privately who all knew how this 'game' works.

I do suspect that these awards influence perception and help legitimize the awardees. It would be interesting to see how much people care. Perhaps a future SSN poll/survey?

Well, CEOs still care, which makes me think that the board/investors care. Although they should probably know better. Forrester are notorious for their awards. ISC W/ASIS's ones are child's play compared to Forrester's.