Going commercial a challenge for government contractors
By Sarah Gantz
April 28, 2017, 10:38 p.m.
KEYW's founder was so confident in the company's cybersecurity services for the federal intelligence community that he decided in 2013 to branch out into the commercial sector.
But the Hanover-based firm struggled to get significant traction away from its government customers and after the founder passed away in mid-2015, the company's new leadership announced plans to refocus on its core business of government contracting. It subsequently sold off pieces of its commercial business last year.
The fast-growing commercial cybersecurity market, which analysts estimate will top $202 billion by 2021, is an attractive lure for companies that cut their technology teeth providing such services for the federal government, where spending has largely stagnated. But they quickly learn that even if the problems are similar, many aspects of the private sector — the product, the pitch, the size of the deal and the business model — are very different from what they know.