Information Security Consulting
Information Security Consulting
The main responsibility of an information security consultancy firm is to monitor,
analyze, translate, and decode data for both foreign and counter foreign objectives. The firm has
the mandate to protect systems that deal with both communication and information and belong to
the US government. These systems are protected against hacking and unauthorized entries. It
does all these activities while maintaining high levels of confidentiality. Some of these secret
activities involve placing bugs to collect data. It also destroys and intercepts data using complex
software and algorithms. The firm, however, does not have any authority in conducting human
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intelligence. This function is run by government agencies like the FBI and the CIA (McAvoy,
2010). In the US, the information security consulting industry is stable and growing fast. The
occurrences of security breaches in the US gives investors confidence in investing in the
country’s information security industry. The industry has faced a tremendous upward growth
with estimates close to fifteen percent over the last decade. Within the next half decade, the
securities companies expect a growth rate of over ten percent. To enjoy this enabling business
environment in information security, firms have to come up with efficient pricing strategies. This
move coupled with good product marketing will assist the company to enjoy maximum profits in
the already lucrative industry (Winkler, 2011).
KOPSS’ pricing strategy
Pricing is one of the major elements in marketing that KOPSS, an information security
consulting company,must be conscious. The price of a product proves an important factor
because it relates to where the product will be positioned in the market. The price also has effects
on promotion, product features, and channel divisions that are also key elements of the market
mix. A pricing strategy can, therefore, be described as an action plan to come up with pricing
objectives. Such strategies are essential when marketers such as KOPSS are setting prices for
their goods and services. There are numerous ways for the marketers to set prices for various
products. The products may be new in the market or may have been existent in the market
(Wasserman et al., 2009).
KOPSS can adopt couple of strategies for setting prices for new products to ensure that
they remain competitive in the market. These are penetration pricing or skimming prices. They
can be used simultaneously or each used alone and calculation done for a set duration of time.
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Price skimming is where they charge the highest price for the product. This price is usually for a
short duration when the new product that is either innovative or improved is launched into the
market. The key objective is to get the most out of client that are willing to pay extra for the
product within the shortest time possible. However, the price is lowered once the product has
settled into the market, or its demand has fallen. Penetration pricing, on the other hand, is setting
a lower price for the product during the initial market introduction period. The key aim of this
move is to establish and maintain a market share for the product fast. The seller’s aim is to
discourage their competitors from market entry by establishing a large market share within the
shortest time possible (Cohen, 2011).
New Information Security Consultancy firms often make an initial mistake of setting very
low prices for their products. They often fall for this move because most of their competitors do
not divulge their trading prices. Another reason could be that new consultants have a relatively
low number of clients. This reason could be due to the minimal barriers to entry into the
industry. They also have to compete with industry giants like McKinsey and Co. The small
companies like KOPSS, therefore, compete for clients by offering lower product prices than their
established competitors. Many of these new consultants are usually oblivious of the production
and operating costs in their businesses. These consultants are in most cases unable to pay bills.
The companies may also be unable to raise their prices in the future due to their initial product
pricing. This scenario happens when they fail to convince their clients fully on the quality of
their services. Product prices are varied by the location and the industry they are targeting.
However, a methodology commonly used to come up with a pricing structure exists. This
methodology creates an attractive price to both KOPSS and its potential customers (Lassiter,
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KOPSS has its own pricing strategy that has contributed to its success. One of the
strategies is penetration, especially when the company is focusing on winning over new
customers. The charges are low when the company enters a new market. It has also maintained
low prices on its services as a strategy to retain its customers and win over new customers. The
prices areaffordable coupled with flexible payment options offered through its state of art
services. The company focuses on the most important aspects or services and this has enabled it
to manage its costs effectively compared to other players in the industry. It also negotiates for
competitive prices for its innovative hardware and software technological products something
that keeps its administrative and operating costs low. This therefore, ensures continuous
provision of quality services and products to its customers at affordable prices at the same time.
The pricing of the company also puts into consideration the location of the agency.
Agencies in the urban or coastal areas charge relatively higher prices than their counterparts in
other geographic and demographic locations. It does not come as a surprise to realize that the
name and expertise of the company determine the pricing of their products. More experienced
companies charge higher than the newbies in the industry (Weiss, 2011).
It is common for most consultants in the information technology to charge hourly. Some
high-level consultants, on the other hand, charge according to the entire project. Accountancy,
Law and wealth managers also charge on an hourly basis (Weiss, 2011). New arrangements are
typically more viable and agreeable to charge on an hourly basis. This arrangement is also easier
to manage. On deciding the amount to charge, high-end consultants ask for the steepest fees. Due
to the level of secrecy in consultancy prices in the market, deciding the actual amount to charge
is very tricky. Most consultants, therefore, set a price for their products by doubling or tripling
the average hourly rate charged by similar consultants (Wasserman et al., 2009). As mentioned
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earlier, KOPSS charges will vary and the charges will only be negotiated in case other products
or services are innovative.
Some firms use a daily rate to come up with the price of their products. The daily rate can
be randomly selected after looking at the cost of operations and the profit margin expected. The
hourly rate can also be decided by multiplying the hourly rate determined above and then
multiplying with the number of working hours. Daily rates may seem expensive to clients if they
are randomly selected. However, a factor of the hourly rate is an acceptable way to charge for
consulting services in the information security industry (Weiss, 2011). KOPSS, however, does
not use this pricing strategy.
Information security consultants can set their product prices according to a set project.
They first have to estimate the number of hours they think they will spend on the project. The
number of hours is then factored into the hourly rates the company has uses. Some consultancy
firms can set the prices depending on how much money their clients will make from the services
they offer. This method takes a certain percentage of the benefits accrued by the company
resulting in the consultant’s advice (Lassiter, 2010). KOPSS should consider using this strategy
as it would give it a wider dimension when consulting for other companies.
KOPSS may decide to receive payment for their services by accepting a share of the
client’s future profits or commissions. Here, the consultancy will be pushed to receive payment
according to their level of performance. Some clients may offer the firm a commission on the
service performance benefits based on the results of the work done by the consultant. This
pricing strategy is, however, risky. The client’s performance may directly affect the manner in
which KOPSS works resulting to underperformances. The client may also not be fully
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cooperative to adhere to the consultants recommendations. The company, however, has not
adopted this strategy when deciding the amount to charge for its services.
KOPSS may make the decision to use real-time data when determining the amount to
charge a client. The data may involve checking the client’s bad debt rate where a client with a
higher rate of accruing debts is given stricter payment terms. A payment structure can also be set
by using the number of actual working hours. A working and competitive structure cut costs to
some amount on the hours the consultant may be paid for just being present and doing nothing.
The consultant may also charge for the actual days that they have to work and leave out days
they are not actively working for the client (Lassiter, 2010). However, KOPSS may find this
strategy expensive and time consuming. Data collection may prove expensive and strain the
company’s small operational costs even further.
The consultancy may also decide to charge what all other consultancy firms are charging
for their services. This way the firms compete on the quality of services they offer to get clients
rather than charging discretely. KOPSS has adopted this strategy in part, as it focuses on quality
services but charged at an affordable price. This strategy can only be possible where the rates are
open to all. However, this is not often the case, as most consultants to client rates are kept
confidential (Winkler, 2011).
A more viable long-term strategy would be to settle for a price that represents the kind of
service the firm offers. Such a strategy allows the firm to move from the limitations of hourly
charges to a more open scope in business (Cohen, 2011). KOPSS pricing strategy is actually
essential in enabling it achieve its goals. Even though the prices are low, the quality of services is
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high. It is also able to negotiate for higher prices on products and services that it deems
innovative, something that helps it mange its costs.
Coming up with an initial pricing strategy may seem difficult at first for an Information
Security Consulting Services such as KOPSS. However, once a working strategy that is
attractive to both the company and the clients has been designed, then the business is ready to
grow. KOPSS can occasionally revise its pricing strategies by considering experience, feedback
from clients, and the activities of its competitors. Regardless of how it chooses to set its
consultancy fees, the pricing structure, and contract agreement have to be followed to the latter.
KOPSS indeed has adopted a low price strategy as well as negotiated strategy that has enabled it
to remain competitive in the market. It offers quality products and services that meet the
threshold of its customers too.
McAvoy, N. (2010). Coded messages: How the CIA and NSA hoodwink Congress and the
people. New York: Algora Pub.
Winkler, V. J. R. (2011).Securing the Cloud: Cloud Computer Security Techniques and
Tactics.Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Lassiter, P. (2010). The new job security: The 5 best strategies for taking control of your career.
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.
Cohen, W. A. (2011). How to make it big as a consultant.New York: AMACOM.
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Wasserman, P., McLean, J. W., & Gale Research Company.(2009). Consultants and consulting
organizations directory. Detroit, Mich: Gale Research Co.
Weiss, A. (2011). The consulting Bible: Everything you need to know to create and expand a
seven-figure consulting practice. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.