I send a team of people every year to conferences in our industry such as The Great Conversation in Security, ISC West, ASIS and PSA Tec.

Each of these conferences provides us with a piece of the puzzle. What puzzle are we attempting to create?

Our first and foremost goal is uncovering the problems of our current and future clients. These can be expressed or, in many cases, not yet recognized. These challenges always start with risk and the quantification of value.

Our second goal is to understand where the technology vendors are heading. If this information is aligned with the first goal, then we can begin to leverage the future to create not yet imagined gains in productivity and risk mitigation.

When we are at our best, we do all of this with our vision in mind: To be the premier risk, resilience and security solutions provider. Vision is important, because it keeps you focused on your core competency that will be true regardless of the changes in the economy, best practices or technology.

Every year I assemble a team of leaders to review our learnings from the previous year. We not only look at how the industry is evolving but also how our business model should evolve as well. We preach that “Change is the only constant,” and we want to excel at the discipline of change.

We are at the mid-year point of 2017, and here is what we see:

  • Access control vendors are moving quickly to be the aggregator of data, connecting the sensors that are currently being deployed into a 360-degree view of the security program.

  • Technology vendors are challenged with making cyber-defensibility an integral part of their design.

  • Integrators are struggling with a change in their business model that will require new competencies in information management, cyber-defensibility and cloud-based computing.

  • Security executives are forming a new relationship with IT and re-evaluating their core vendor relationships as they search for answers.

This is a great opportunity: to prepare for a future that we cannot quite see. To do so, we must stay away from the attempt to predict trends. We must spend most of our time assessing the behaviors of our clients. The way they deploy people in their established processes today will help us identify the gaps in productivity and outcomes. These should form the basis for innovations we can apply to their needs. And, this will help guide the business model innovations that will help guide our companies.

Although it is counter-intuitive, you want to eventually disrupt the way you do business on a persistent basis. For example: you are no longer buying access control. You are using access control to mine the data. You are buying the data that helps you see your risk differently. You are no longer buying video surveillance. You are buying situational awareness that informs an actionable response. How can these problems and our response improve over time? That is called innovation planning, not strategic planning.

You are working today in a model that will be obsolete at some point in the future. What if you intentionally disrupted this through a deliberate process of ongoing change?