The reality of relevance
Without doubt, one of greatest challenges one faces in business, whether it be as an individual or a business, is that of remaining relevant. The fact that something made you extremely successful ten years ago, or even two years ago, is no reason to believe that it will continue to make you successful two years or even six months from today. Therefore, every person, every business, every association, not just in the security industry but across all areas of business, must always seek to remain relevant. It sounds obvious but it is amazing how often the day-to-day needs of work can keep one from actually engaging in assessing just how relevant one still is.
In order to remain relevant, one must first understand his, her or – in the case of a business or association – its, target market. Who are they? What are their needs? What genuine problems do they deal with on a day-to-day basis? One must also understand his or her unique point of difference. In other words, what is it that I, or my service or product, does that no one else can do, or at least do as well as I do it?
If you know your target market and you know that what you do meets a genuine need, and equally importantly, you know that your product or service will do a better job of fulfilling that need than anyone else’s, then it is reasonable to assume that you or your business is relevant.
However, too often, both as individuals and as businesses, we assume that we are still relevant based on past performance. Take for example, dial up alarm systems. For decades, dial up alarm systems met the needs of customers across the board. However, a shift in technology to IP based systems has made this once highly popular technology irrelevant. Those company’s that saw the early signs of change occurring in the industry were able to get on the front foot and innovate with a view to ensuring that they remained relevant in the face of change. Those that didn’t either fell by the wayside or lost significant ground to competitors.
The same can be said of individuals. Old school security managers that understand the principles of physical security, but who have neglected to become conversant in IP technology or the language of modern business, face extinction as surely as the dinosaurs. The reality is, the world is constantly revolving, constantly moving, and if you are standing still, then you are, in fact, moving backwards.
Events like Security 2014, being held in Melbourne from 4 – 6 of June, provide the perfect opportunity to gauge one’s relevance. With exhibitors displaying the latest and greatest products and services from around the world, where else can one go and, in the space of a few days, gain an understanding of where technology is heading in the security industry. Such shows also represent the ideal opportunity to meet with new and existing clients to test one’s understanding of current market needs. Too often, people and organisations fall into the trap of believing they are meeting market needs based on past performance without ever actually testing those assumptions.
Events like Security 2014 also provide the perfect opportunity to measure whether you are meeting the needs of the industry as a security professional. How relevant are your skills? How up to date is your knowledge? Through networking, attending presentations from industry luminaries and talking to leading organisations, one is able to gain valuable insights into just how well their particular knowledge and skills meet the evolving needs of the security market.
Trade shows and exhibitions provide a valuable range of opportunities beyond simply seeing the latest NVR or exhibiting your new range of cameras. Industry events of this type provide the perfect opportunity for innovation, whether it be to plan your next innovation, unveil your latest innovation or determine where you need to innovate. With a little over one month to go until Security 2014, perhaps now is a good time to begin thinking about what you want to achieve from this year’s event.
About the author: John Bigelow, Editor, Security Solutions Magazine