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The market for cloud-based security services is set to grow quickly, according to a new forecast from Gartner. For solution providers, now’s the time to start adapting to this new reality.

Gartner predicts the global market for cloud-based security services will climb by 21 percent this year, reaching nearly $5.9 billion.

Looking ahead another 3 years, the research and advisory company expects the worldwide market for cloud-based security services to top $8.9 billion by 2020.

Assuming Gartner’s 21 percent growth forecast for this year is correct, that would mean the cloud-based security services market is growing about 3 times faster than the overall IT security market. That latter market, Gartner predicted, should grow this year by “only” 7.6 percent. (Though, to be fair, that would represent a much larger total: sales of $90 billion.)

The market for cloud-based security services is actually 7 submarkets, according to Gartner. Customers don’t buy something called cloud-based security. Instead, they buy secure email gateways; secure web gateways; IAM (ID and access management), IDaaS (IAM as a service) and user authentication; remote vulnerability assessments; SIEM (security information and event management); application-security testing; and other related services.


One big surprise: Gartner believes much of the growth in cloud-based security is being driven by small and medium businesses.

That’s happening as SMBs become increasingly aware of cybersecurity threats — and the potential for cloud deployments to reduce their security costs.

The costs include those for powering and cooling both hardware-based security equipment and data-center floor space. When many servers, storage and networking gear reside with a cloud services provider off-premises, those costs largely go away.

Cloud-based security services are also attractive to SMBs with small (or even nonexistent) IT staffs. There are 3 main reasons, Gartner says: 1) These services are easy to deploy and manage; 2) they’re charged on a pay-for-use basis; and 3) their features aren’t complex.

What’s it mean for solution providers?

Simple: Solution providers will need to adapt. As your customers shift from on-premises IT to the cloud-based delivery of IT services, you’ll need to shift, too. Solution providers will need to adjust their focus from owning and selling product … to being the ones who sell and support the delivery of IT services.

The economics are changing, too. The cloud’s competitive dynamics and alternative pricing practices are having a drastic impact on traditional business models. How you’ll make money tomorrow is likely to be quite different from how you make it today.

Are you ready? Solution providers must adapt. If not, the traditional IT security services you’re selling could become a risky proposition.


Blog Category: 
Cloud and Data Centers