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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Which IT security supplier is top of mind for SMBs

The security vendor landscape is one of the most diffused in the IT industry. Within the past 6 months Techaisle has received press releases and briefing requests from more than 60 different suppliers. Despite the incredible diversity of prospective suppliers, though, small businesses and midmarket firms are largely focused on the same handful of security technology suppliers. Symantec, Trend Micro and McAfee rank among the top three security solution vendors in SMB segment. It appears that with security, brand leadership extends throughout the SMB market, with suppliers who are well-positioned in the small business or midmarket community tending to be strong in the other segment as well. This statement does not necessarily mean that overall leadership will extend into the myriad niches that are apparent in the market. What it does mean, though, is that suppliers addressing specific niches will need to develop convincing positioning statements explaining how their niche solutions extend and integrate with products available from the overall market leaders.

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SMB mobility security percolating to the top as threats increase

Techaisle’s US SMB & Midmarket IT Security Adoption survey finds a mismatch between business confidence in mobility security and actual exposure to threats and mitigation actions and investments. Figure below illustrates respondent perceptions of current mobile security preparedness. In the US, roughly 20% of both small and midsized businesses report that they are “fully prepared and confident” with respect to mobile security, and more than twice as many state that they are “as prepared as can be,” while acknowledging that “requirements will change” in the future. Altogether, nearly two-thirds of small businesses and three-quarters of midmarket firms categorize themselves as being in one of these categories, with only 5% of small businesses and 2% of midmarket respondents reporting that they are “not very well prepared.”

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US$8B spend on IT Security solutions in the US SMB market

Techaisle research shows that the US SMB spend on security (including managed security services) is likely to be US$8.4 B in 2017. Within the entire SMB (1-999 employees) segment it is easy to point to a lack of budget as a reason why US small businesses (1-99 employees) are not proactive when it comes to addressing security (or other IT) issues, but that may not be the whole problem, or perhaps even the greatest obstacle to small business adoption of security technology. Techaisle data illustrates, relative to midmarket (100-999 employees) firms, small businesses have limited internal IT security staff, are not generally working with a managed service provider capable of managing security needs, are about one-third less likely than larger peers to work with outsourcers delivering Security-as-a-Service, and are about 50% less likely to embrace external vendors’ software-based security solutions. While microbusinesses could theoretically pursue the same strategies that are used by larger competitors, they lack experience and skills needed to identify, deploy and manage the products and relationships used to develop shields protecting valuable corporate data, application and human assets.

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US enterprise Cloud survey shows shifting strategies

Techaisle’s US Enterprise Cloud survey conducted with senior IT decision makers shows that Cloud actually opens the doors to increased IT investment. For all the trepidation about the negative impact of cloud on IT budget and authority, data from the Techaisle US upper-midmarket/enterprise (1,000 employees to 10,000 employees) cloud survey indicates that advanced use of cloud actually drives higher IT spending. In 92% of US enterprises, IT has a voice on the board and helps drive the direction of the business rather than business deciding IT needs. There is also a great deal of near-term opportunity for a variety of SaaS providers in the US enterprise market: ten diverse application categories are included in near-term plans of 37%-41% of respondents.

Cloud adoption maturity & IT staffing impact

Survey data shows that cloud maturity does not correlate to reductions in IT staffing levels. The most and least mature cloud user segments have an average of 19.0 and 20.3 users per IT staff member, respectively. The two groups between the extremes have an average of 16.6 and 16.2 users per IT staff member. The roles may be different, but the survey data finds that absolute employment in IT shops does not decline with cloud use.

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