Market for informatics reaches $1B per year

Connecting the dots against terrorism became a major industry after Sept. 11, 2001. The market for intelligence and security informatics IT is now $1 billion a year, according to a new report from market research firm C.E. Unterberg, Towbin Inc. of New York and business incubator Chesapeake Innovation Center of Annapolis, Md.

The nation's government intelligence agencies were widely criticized after the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks because of perceived shortcomings in linking bits of intelligence in advance; that is, "connecting the dots," which might have prevented the disaster.

Since then, the urgent need for homeland security and an increase in available government funding have been driving the market for advanced anti-terrorism IT.

Sales of counterterrorism analytics and software for both private and public companies are expanding at an estimated 20 percent a year and have accounted for $2 billion in mergers and acquisitions in the last 18 months, according to a news release about the report.

Dot-connecting technologies include stand-alone analytical software and analytics embedded in intelligent video surveillance, biometrics and other security systems. New breakthroughs include "affect mining," enabling the researcher to search data based on assessments of the emotional states of speakers or writers captured on the data. Dual-benefit technologies include visualization and unstructured data mining tools.

Other key market drivers include more power storage technologies; huge increases in available information from email, chat, video and mass media; regulatory, compliance and liability pressures; increased wiretapping capabilities; and growth of intelligent sensor systems, from video cameras to biometric readers.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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