The following article was written by Ray Bernard, PSP CHS-III. Ray is the principal consultant for Ray Bernard Consulting Services (RBCS), a firm that provides security consulting services for public and private facilities (www.go-rbcs.com). It was published in Security InfoWatch, an online security magazine. Ray is a Subject Matter Expert Faculty of the Security Executive Council and an active member of the ASIS International member councils for Physical Security and IT Security. He also has been a faculty member of The Great Conversation in Security.
Ray has had a lot of experience dealing with integrators. And the article below speaks to their challenges. However, their world is changing… dramatically. Ray is right when he says:
“For an integrator, customer centricity means understanding your customers’ jobs and companies well enough to know how to add value to the manufactured items that are available from multiple sources. This gets to the heart of the value that managed service providers provide to their customers via subscription-based services. It means understanding the technologies you provide well enough to know how to deploy them fully and correctly for each specific customer. You don’t need computer data systems to do this.”
However, there needs to be a lot of discussion around definitions. Words and definitions are so important to our changing industry. What something means to one person in a sector of the security industry is not what it means to someone else. So, before the conversation even starts we need to have a common understanding of words. Take “integrator”. This is often used to refer to the installation of security technology where no advanced integrations are being deployed. We believe what is evolving is the need for risk assessments to involve technology architects to examine the current data model of the information flow of a company. How are people currently performing roles in a process using the technology they currently have deployed?
Once this is understood, then you can begin to look at ways to optimize those roles and workflows using technology. As well, you can begin to leverage the data to model risk factors and predictive behavior. And, yes, this requires a much different mindset and skill set. The term “integrator” no longer suffices.
Once again, I applaud Ray for creating another great conversation. Enjoy the article.
Customer centric, which is not a new phrase, seems to be experiencing a recent surge in popularity. To me, it seemed like an odd term at first, because you can’t make a sale without a customer. The buying and selling of products and services requires a customer. So, aren’t businesses customer centric by their nature? After all, the term customer service starts with the word “customer.”
The basic purpose of this column is not simply to provide definitions, but rather is two-fold. First, to show how a word or phrase that actually means something has gained popularity in a way that results in its meaning becoming lost or replaced by a useless concept, so that we don’t get tripped up by its use. Second, since many terms have multiple valid definitions, to find out which definition is the one that we can and should apply in the security industry.