The Politics of Convergence

Call it convergence, call it IP, call it networking — call it whatever you want — but the similarities between this year’s presidential primaries and what’s going on in security departments everywhere are too close to ignore.

Each day we see claims to the presidential throne becoming more dramatic and intense as the weeks slip away and fewer votes are available to be seized and stacked into the baskets of Senators Clinton or Obama. It has even reached the fever stage of one side suggesting the other drop out so the larger goal of launching a successful campaign to defeat the opposition party can be reached.

J.P. Freeman Co. has completed all the research for a new report on the security convergence market, and one of the findings reflects the current political goings-on. 

Who’s in Control?

Convergence, IP and networking are with us forever as communications technology continually advances our ability to stay in constant touch with each other. The masters of this communication technology are IT professionals who have been trained to understand how best to accomplish these interpersonal links. 

And as we all know, these executives are exerting a rising level of influence over security policy although their salaries don’t relate to that function. To be fair, their job descriptions may say that they’re supposed to assist as required with the development and maintenance of a state-of-the-art enterprise security function.

But where does assistance stop and control begin? In our latest marketplace information, manufacturers and integrators tell us that they believe there is about a 50/50 chance IT departments might take full control of the electronic sector of enterprise security.  As you might guess, users are completely in the opposite camp.

Out of 15 possible reasons for planning and purchasing a converged security/IT system, both manufacturers and integrators rank this possibility eighth, midway between most and least important.  How do we reconcile this perception with the one that users hold? Do they have a better handle on internal affairs than their suppliers? Do they simply not want to relinquish any departmental authority? Is it the start of a new modus Vivendi in the day-to-day operating culture of the security industry that will never again see unilateral control of its affairs?

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