A new report from International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that small and medium business (SMB) spending on security technology continues experience strong growth and is expected to exceed $5.6 billion by 2015 in the United States.
While overall SMB IT spending in the U.S. is forecast to grow at a rate of 5-6% per year over the period, IDC says security-specific products and solutions is expected to grow at nearly twice that rate.
According to IDC, changing SMB needs, especially the empowering of mobile workers and reliance on cloud resources, have made security an important enabler of resources for growing companies.
“SMBs are more focused on security as a way to gain access to more capabilities, but less focused on security as a cost to be reduced once minimum standards are met,” said Ray Boggs, vice president for Small and Medium Business Markets research at IDC. Charles Kolodgy, vice president of Security Products pointed to the major expansion in key capabilities — especially online ones — as a major driver of new SMB security investment.
Key findings from IDC’s report include:
• The six key security product areas – endpoint, messaging, network, Web, identity and access management (IAM), and security and vulnerability management (SVM) – will all show strong growth throughout the forecast period.
• The changing ways that security capabilities are implemented will also represent opportunities for technology suppliers. SMB spending on software-as-a-service and security appliances are both forecast to grow at double-digit rates in the coming years.
• Both small and medium businesses identify security as a key IT investment priority. About 19% of small firms (under 100 employees) cite improving security and security management as key IT spending priorities. This percentage almost doubles to 36% among medium-sized firms (100-999 employees).
• IDC identified six key elements for success in the SMB security market: an effective Web site, education, dedicated products, appliances, SaaS, and channel support. But while many companies do well in three or four categories, no single company is ahead of the pack in all six.
“Small and medium-sized businesses have as much need for information technology as much larger companies,” said Kolodgy. “They also require security because they are a target of cybercriminals. But there are unique issues that prevent SMBs from just buying what large enterprises purchase.”