Aussie firm launches SaaS security offering

Wins $64K federal government grant

Australian owned IT solutions company, PicNet has launched Risk Shield v4.2, the latest version of its flagship risk management software in both a pocket product for mobile use and also Software as a Service (SaaS) offering.

The SaaS version is the world's first on demand enterprise risk management (ERM) product.

PicNet received $64,000 from the Australian government's Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) grant to further commercialise and develop Risk Shield.

PicNet managing director, Marco Tapia, said the product enhances compliance for the enterprise by allowing management to identify in advance the risks that a corporation may face.

"The mobile solution enables companies to record risks immediately as managers see them on the ground," Tapia said.

"The trial version currently has 8,000 users globally and through upgrades, this should hold us in good stead as we launch the monetised version.

"Risk Shield SaaS provides a specific business solution by enabling organisations to proactively manage risks and compliance obligations without the need of an extensive computing infrastructure.

"It allows a company to start ERM immediately by just using a browser. As risk management and compliance become more crucial to strategic planning and business continuity the choice and flexibility of an ERM solution is essential."

Tapia said issues with risk management and compliance are well documented particularly in the financial sector.

This year alone, he said there has been high profile write-downs from global entities Bank of America ($3.3 billion) and Merrill Lynch ($5 billion) following issues with collateralised debt obligations.

Closer to home, regulator Austrac has warned the financial services sector that from December 12, 2007 firms will need to have anti-money laundering compliance programs in place that verify the identity of customers.

Breaches of this regulation could cost companies up to $11 million.

"Poor risk management and compliance can be an expensive mistake," Tapia added.

Providers of hosted services continue to launch new offerings in the Australian market with research showing the SaaS model is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 65 percent and is set to top A$506 million (US$418 million) by 2010.

Growth in the Australian market is attributed to a growing awareness of the SAAS model, according to Springboard Research.

Senior software analyst at Springboard Research, Balaka Aggarwal, said ease of use and management was the number one reason for deploying SaaS.

He said this was followed by zero maintenance and ease of deployment.