2016 Holds Great Promise for the Prepared Data Destruction Professional

January 6, 2016

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

In the book “Powerful Times” by Eamonn Kelly (Wharton School Publishing), the author describes our era as one of great paradoxes; great wealth-creation and great poverty, great abundance and great scarcity, and great opportunity and great challenges.  It reminds me of the first line of the Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

It also accurately represents the conditions I see in the North American commercial secure destruction market. (It is important to specify the region, since there is such a vast difference in market maturity around the world.)

For established operators who know their way around digital marketing, who understand the regulatory requirements, who have upgraded equipment, and have the right qualifications; things are good and will only get better.  Even those who are not quite there yet but understand that they have to move in that direction have the opportunity to do very well.

It’s even true for someone new to our industry, as long as they are willing to do those things and they have resources to stay in business long enough to get traction. Established businesses that add information destruction to their line of services and that are willing to step up are best suited, however, there is no market in North America where a new service provider could not succeed if they properly commit to doing what it take.

On the other hand, service providers who are unwilling to embrace digital marketing, regulatory issues and proper qualifications will increasingly find things more difficult. Due to dramatically increasing data protection liabilities for customers, it will no longer be an environment where one can just own a piece of equipment and have a webpage.  Oh, they will still get some customers, but that will happen less and less, and those customers they attract – customers who don’t care about qualifications – will only care about price.

It’s not gonna happen overnight, but it will happen…and by the end of 2016 that will be more apparent than it is now.

So, if you ask me if I am bullish on the North American market for secure destruction services, I have to say, “That depends.”  I am extremely bullish for the independent operator who is committed to operating like a professional – professional pricing, professional marketing, professional qualifications.  They are going to see some of the best success and best margins ever. On the other hand, I am not so very bullish for those who just want to wait for the phone to ring.


Part 2: Emerging trends in North American data destruction

Part 3: Data destruction market in other regions of the world