The Best Innovations are Customer-Inspired (Part 2)

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This means staying close to customer requirements, mastering the art of listening and synthesizing customer input into innovations.

This was one the many interesting points made on the topic of innovation during the recent ISC West panel discussion, moderated by Holly Sacks, HID Global's Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Strategy. To learn more about how HID Global is "Driving Innovation in Secure Identity" please read my previous blog post. The panel comprised the following key security industry players, including consultants, integrators and manufacturers, who discussed the meaning of innovation to their business today and in the future.


Panelists:
Dick Clark, Director of Smart Media Innovations Ltd.
Rob Hile, Director of Integrated Security Systems at Siemens Building Technologies
Martin Huddart, Vice President of Electronic Technologies of ASSA ABLOY Americas
Chad Parris, Senior Consultant of Security Risk Management Consultants, Inc.
Selva Selvaratnam, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of HID Global
Gary B. Smith, President and Owner of ColorID

Now to set the stage, here's one of the questions posed that many could see as a fairly basic one:

"Does 'new' necessarily equal innovation?"

But the answer is not quite what you might think.

Though many agreed that innovation has been traditionally associated with technology breakthroughs, it was clear that in the panelists' opinions, innovation means more that in today's market. "Innovation for the sake of being innovative just doesn't cut it anymore", said an integrator/manufacturer panelist. "I think the companies that are innovative in their approach to solve customer challenges are the companies that are demonstrating innovation."

So what did the panelist see as the active areas of customer- and technology-driven innovation moving forward?

A few panelists talked about the excitement they are seeing around configuring credentials and multiple applications on different form factors, such mobile phones, where this shift can completely change the industry's perspective on innovations down the road.

And Dr. Selvaratnam honed-in on the fact that we are now in the decade of interconnectivity, where all of the different technologies in the field must seamlessly talk to each other, and where interconnectivity implies interoperability and open standards in order to meet evolving customer requirements.

"We are right at the tipping point where working together as a group, all of us - consultants, integrators, and manufacturers - will bring relevance and innovation to the industry as we move forward", said Selvaratnam.

This need for increased interconnectivity was shared by the consultant and integrator panelists as well. Some discussed the evolution and continued investment in IP technology that is pushing intelligence to the edge with multiple applications on a single credential. This level of interconnectivity across a unified platform and the evolution of interoperable standards, panelists stated, will also facilitate the ease of integration and lower cost of ownership for customers.

Interconnectivity and collaborative self configuration - where collaborating so the transfer of relevant information between technologies IS the new technology -- is also part of new paradigm as we move forward, Dr. Selvaratnam summed up.

Stay tuned for more blogging on recently-released market trends research that further investigates innovation in the security industry and what customers are saying about it.