Analysis and Testing
Analysis and Testing

This used to be one of our most crowded categories. This year we have but one innovator because over the past three years all of our innovators in this category have gone on to the Hall of Fame. There is another reason; tools that fit this category are fewer and farther between. This is not because analysis and testing aren't necessary. They, of course, are. However, the tools that used to fit nicely in here have moved on to other categories largely due to their innovative approaches. The question, of course, is, “How can we function without these types of tools in our security kit?” The answer is that we cannot. The game has changed a lot though and the functionality that we used to see in these products has become more complicated out of necessity and has moved into other types of products.

A good example is one of the tools that moved from this category into the Hall of Fame this year. It is a forensic tool. But it is not enough today to analyze computer media. Now we have the cloud and a smart phone is as likely to have important information in a cloud storage site such as iCloud as it is to have data on the phone. And if it has data on the phone and in the cloud, what about the user's computer?  That computer could be a PC or a Mac or both. It would be nice to be able to access all with a single tool. That got this innovator into the Hall of Fame but that was one more that left this category.

Our one innovator in this category this year looked at a problem and found a unique way to solve it. What the product does is not remarkable. What is remarkable is how it does it. That makes them a sort of poster-child for innovation. They took a problem, decided that it was not being addressed completely or efficiently and fixed those deficiencies. As a result, they are doing well and we expect them to make to Hall of Fame. Innovation is not just about the product or the technology. It's also about the business.

There are a lot of great product ideas that never get their time in the sun because the innovation ends with the product or the technology. Our Hall of Famers have overcome those challenges. But in the process, they also have defined the categories where innovation has, ironically, emptied the category.