It's welcome news for investors to see a new cyber security specialist join AIM today, say hello to Osirium Technologies (OSI:AIM), a small but ambitious company hoping to hit the fast lane of growth. I won't bang on about it, more information is available in this week's issue of SHARES, which subscribers can read here (click here if you're not a sub and want a trial).
That takes the number of cyber security businesses on AIM to four (by my count), with FTSE 250 providing a couple of weightier companies, by revenues and profits.
Corero Network Secuurity (CNS:AIM)
GB Group (GBG:AIM)
A few others (doing a bit of cyber sec)
Micro Focus (MCRO)
Payments plays and managed services IT/comms suppliers too
(Not a complete list by any means)
SHARES has discussed this topic many times over the past year or more, most recently in this week's magazine (read here) exploring the subject indepth back on 5 November 2015 (read here) and the underlying growth opportunity remains a large and exciting one that UK investors can back, if they choose.
But those wise owls at IT analysis consultancy TechMarketViews (TMV) make a reasonable and, I think, important point – that increased spending on digital protections mean greater workloads for the specialist suppliers.
'Cyber itself is an early stage market, so growth is the key right now. And there are many new providers targeting specific emerging areas,' says TMV's John O'Brien.
That's good, but there is also a hidden concern, that this implied cranking up of demand for all kinds of IT security, digital privacy, identification and authentication will require a new wave of highly skilled experts to fulfil the rising demand. As this chart from SHARES' 'Disruption eruption' cover story this week showed, telecoms firms are thus far the biggest investors in cyber security and we note with interest BT's (BT.A) plans to bolster its digital security arm substantially over the coming 12-months.
'BT is boosting its security business, embarking on a hunt for 900 new security recruits over the next 12 months, as it looks to strengthen its position in the fast growing cyber security market further.' So explained TMV analyst Tola Sargeant yesterday.
Demand for skills is already high and will only intensify. That would appear to favour the bigger players, with more established brands and market presence, and, presumably, greater creative opportunities within for programmers and their ilk.
But maybe not, because IT experts are often fairly anti-corporate, they usually want to retain their own sense of individuality that can be lost working for large organisations. So let's hope that access to skills will not thwart what could be a thriving growth and profits niche for smaller companies in the coming years.