Are you raising the bar?
Is security more important today than it was, say, 25 years ago?
Important is a big word! It is not more important, I would argue, but it is on more people’s radar.
Are there more dollars at stake today from a security organization perspective?
The answer would have to be YES, but certainly anyone involved in an incident would argue that there has always been a lot at stake.
Are security requirements changing?
An emphatic YES! As threat sources change and evolve and technology advances, the landscape is changing. Thankfully, the industry is changing as well, whether it be the evolution of ESRM, the convergence between the various security specialties, or the evolution of industry standards.
In such an evolving landscape, expectations about security’s role are rising. So as a corporate security executive either buying or selling security services, you face a moment of truth:
Will you redefine your expectations based on what is out there?
Or, will you continue settling for blaming your industry?
In other words, will you redefine expectations based on existing opportunities for improvement, or will you simply manage your company or security program based on minimal expectations?
Getting to the Root of Things
Let us say expectations are low. Then what is the cause?
As in many relationships, the cause of the low expectations is shared. Often, security services buyers are settling for the same old service or excuses. These buyers are willing to seek the lowest-cost options that drive prices down.
At the same time, security sellers, in certain cases, are not taking control. They are accepting situations like low margins and the same old service delivery (not always a good thing!).
That said, we have all been wowed by great service: We, the recipient, feel good, and the person providing the service feels good, too. Those feelings reinforce relationships and drive loyalty.
Professional Services, Anyone?
Should security services, in fact, be considered as “professional services”? If you define such services as people with specialized knowledge helping a client manage better a part of their business, I would say a resounding YES — especially considering what is at stake!
Do we deserve the label and the spoils that come with being considered security professional? If we redefine our expectations, then I would say YES. We need to stop settling and adopt effective technologies, management models, and initiatives that help us minimize human error. We should adopt standards that allow us to benchmark versus best practices.
Buyers and sellers alike need to ask themselves:
- “How have I changed expectations?”
- “Can I change expectations?”
- “Am I positioned within my security organization to effect change?”
If the answer is NO, then you have just identified your professional priority!
Seen change? Or have examples of how you have effected change?
Then please feel free to share them with me via [email protected]!
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