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Despite consolidation, innovation spikes in security software

Anyone who reads my posts here with any kind of regularity knows that I am kind of a numbers geek, which is to say that I love the nuances of all the statistics that are published by the usual suspects on the market research side of life. It doesn’t mean I believe all of them, but I feel most of them bear exposure. (Or, bare exposure, if you prefer.)

But this new statistic about the $16.5 billion security software sector from Gartner really gave me pause: In 2010, the share of the market controlled by the so-called big vendors (aka Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, IBM and EMC) FELL to 44 percent from 60 percent in the prior year.

That’s right, folks. That means that the incredibly dynamic security software solution set continues to attract new players. Even though there have been plenty of mergers and acquisitions to consolidate the market over the past five years, the spike in cybersecurity activity in the past 12 months continues to inspire innovation.

Notes Ruggero Contu, a principal research analyst at Gartner:

“The security market continues to provide good growth opportunities for both established players and start-up companies, and the market landscape remains fairly dynamic with many competitors. While end-user organizations have show an increasing preference to use a suite of products from fewer suppliers, the complexity of end users’ product portfolios will not be solved in the short term because new, standalone niche tools will continue to be purchased to solve new rising threats and vulnerabilities that incumbent players haven’t been able to address.”

For the channel, this means two big things:

  1. There is an opportunity for security specialists to keep ahead of emerging threats and earn serious margins on solutions that have not gone mainstream.
  2. Technology solution providers need to make sure that any new software they take on will be compatible with the suite approach for the least amount of client disruption if and when a security start-up player is acquired.

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