Biometrics in Government
Addressing Vendor Lock-In in ABIS Systems
“Vendor lock-in” is a term that describes when a technology vendor imposes switching costs upon their customer—intentionally or otherwise—to make it unattractive for them to replace their installed products. It’s done by designing and deploying a system in such a way that makes it exceedingly difficult, risky, or expensive to replace part or all of the system. The effect is that the vendor can earn a virtual monopoly within that account on future product and service revenue. The phenomenon is universal, but vendor lock-in has occurred in the biometrics realm, typically involving deployment of an AFIS/ABIS (automated fingerprint/biometric identification system).