Biometrics Keeps Your Borders Secure Today
Biometrics may improve on price and performance in the years to come, but investing in this technology now may help you avoid a security disaster.
A recent commercial for consumer electronics has a dad telling his son he's not going to buy the big screen TV because as soon as he does it will go on sale the next day. The retailer then promotes its price guarantee that states if the TV does go on sale, the difference will be refunded.
What a great TV ad! How many of us have felt that way about consumer products we have bought over the years? How many of us have delayed our purchases and gone without a VCR, DVD, PC, or - good heavens - even an 8-track player? How many of us are still waiting?
My point is this: when new technology becomes available it tends to be expensive and low on features. However, some adopters see the benefits of the technology and take advantage of it early on. Thanks to them the price comes down and the features go up ... over time. The early adopters of new technology are not afraid because they know the advantage in terms of satisfaction or cost savings will justify upgrading or purchasing subsequent generations.
Don't Put A Price On Security
September 11, 2001, taught many lessons, including our vulnerable national security and the need for homeland security. The obvious areas that need to be secured are our borders. Yet, within our own lives we need to secure closer boarders - our businesses, our homes, our schools, and so on. A technology that has been around and has been adopted by early users is biometrics. It has advanced so much in the last two years that the price has come down and the features are full. Sure, it will continue to improve in performance and price, but why not secure our identities and take advantage of what we can do today? There may not be a price guarantee, but what price do we put on prevention of a disaster?
There are many products to choose from. Unlike brand names in consumer electronics, selecting a brand becomes a bit more difficult. Over the years, many good products have been born only to die an early death because the manufacturer was undercapitalized. Today mergers and OEM deals are leveraging the companies to sustain growth by selling more products, which in turn funds further development. Partnering among manufacturers has never been more prevalent.
Federal Government Spends $40 Billion
The federal government has now seen the benefits of using biometrics along with identification cards as viable tools to secure our homeland. In excess of $40 billion will be spent over the next 12 months. The government, like any early adopting consumer, recognizes it is time to take advantage of the technology. After all, using what is available today is better than the systems that are currently being used. This makes it an excellent time to focus on our businesses and borders closer to us. VARs that embrace products that are biometric-based and provide security in both physical access and intellectual access can enjoy an opportunity to generate revenues and also provide a valuable service.
The federal government recognizes, as should any enterprise in today's market, the ultimate solution will most likely come from several vendors. It is up to the sharp VAR to recognize their value comes from integrating the technologies for the solution. One biometrics device may be perfect for one application, but may not be suitable for the next. In today's open architecture environment, safety in system design will prevail. VARs will serve customers best if they look to align themselves with manufacturers that are open and maintain a process of continuous development and improvement. Equally important are manufacturers that are resolute to the technology with experience, intellectual property, and customer service.
Biometrics Beyond Business Apps
The cost of today's system will be reduced in time, but how much time does it take for a compromise in one's security? The application for the creative-thinking VAR doesn't stop there. Around the world, biometrics is playing a critical role in applications such as access to bank records, starting automobiles, and unlocking apartments. Biometrics is not just for businesses anymore, and before long it will be mainstream. Then maybe dad will get the refund from the retail store for his biometrically enabled big screen TV.