Security market set to flourish in 2005

Posted on January 10th, 2005

Despite customer confusion caused by the sheer number of products and technologies in the security market, the sector will continue to blossom this year, rising by 16 per cent on 2004.
According to research firm IDC’s latest report, Opportunities and Challenges in the Maturing IT Security Market, spending will more than double this year in the UK and Ireland on biometric security, smart cards and the three As: authentication, authorisation and administration. More established securities such as firewalls will see spending levels mature in the coming months.

However, IDC told CRN that security vendors will have to consolidate their products this year, to combat customer confusion caused by fragmented product sets and feature-based selling.

‘As there are so many specialist security products available, more vertical-market products will be an emerging feature this year,’ said Duncan Brown, consultant director at IDC. ‘Customers are looking for a product that protects against multiple types of threat, rather than a single point solution. ‘Security sales in the channel will shift focus to software and services. Sales will also be of higher value, and the channel will have to be more educated about security.’

Security is also becoming the central focus on corporate networks, according to IDC. There is a growing recognition among businesses that security should be embedded into a network rather than a bolt-on feature.

An increasingly mobile workforce is also helping to drive security sales, said Philip Odgers, consulting manager at IDC.’Businesses will be bringing in more mobile workforces this year so security for them needs to be stable and secure to protect company networks,’ he said.

Jonathon Hallatt, divisional sales director at security reseller Azzurri Communications, agreed with the report. ‘Security spending will rise this year because the threat is always changing,’ he said.’If vendors consolidate products, resellers will have to be much more knowledgeable about each type of threat. But margins will still be service-dependent.’

By James Sherwood