This is a group that has a very wide reach. There is a lot that one can categorize as“analysis and testing” so coming up with Innovators should not have been too difficult. However, we found that there is a lot of “business as usual” in this group and not a lot of really eye-popping innovation.
What we ended up with was a couple of very interesting products – one an old friend and one a new acquaintance. But what was really interesting to us was the spread between the two. On one hand we have an Innovator that has evolved a seemingly endless array of ways to perform – and, more importantly, use – vulnerability assessment. On the other, we found a forensic tool that really goes the extra mile to solve tough cyberforensic problems. Also, due to a major announcement in the digital forensic world, we added another Innovator at the last minute. This one is so far out there in terms of innovation that it would not have made sense to miss them this year.
The point is that the analysis and testing world is busy looking for new ways to gather and analyze data, to be sure. But it also is a major challenge to take that analysis and do something really useful with it. Innovation in this product area demands that information be applied usefully. That means that intelligence – and, certainly all information gathered as a result of analysis or testing is intelligence – needs to be actionable.
Making the results that these tools generate actionable is the real differentiator between an Innovator and just another product company with a good – maybe very good – product that offers nothing truly unique to its users. Over the years we have seen some very strong products in this space. In those past years, innovation that gave new ways of testing and new ways of displaying data was pretty good. Today, though, that is not good enough.
All of that said, we think that you will enjoy these three companies and we are pretty sure that you'll agree with us that what they offer is actionable results obtained and used in very creative ways.