For the decision-makers that buy technology for their companies, today’s business climate is demanding and fast-paced. Thanks to advances in this technology, a company’s level of responsiveness, flexibility and performance can mean the difference between success and failure particularly when it comes to protection. Businesses rely on technology for a competitive edge, an innovative means to serve customers and partners, an efficient way to manage business processes, and much more.
Unlike other technologies and applications that operate within one small or broad functional range, IT security has to cross multiple boundaries and systems. It has to protect all of the technology and information businesses already have in place as well as any new demands placed on the company.
The benefits of passing the risk and responsibility for a company’s security to an organisation that focuses on nothing else are clear.
The huge amount of security expertise needed by firms to secure themselves leads to a large cost overhead in personnel, hardware and software systems, in non-core operations. Managed Security Services (MSS) provide businesses with the opportunity to outsource their security needs, while at the same time providing guaranteed protection at a lower total cost of ownership than is possible with conventional, internally managed security. When used properly, managed security services are designed to optimise resources, reduce operational costs, improve flexibility and responsiveness, and address regulatory requirements for each customer.
Organisations are quickly grasping this fact and are rapidly switching to outsourced managed security services in order to reap the rewards. Indeed, analyst firm, IDC predicts that managed security services in Western Europe alone will see a growth rate of 21.3 per cent per year between 2007 and 2011 .
So against the backdrop of the changing technological environment and the currently fragmented MSS market, there are clearly good opportunities for both security providers and resellers. Given the growth rate, it is highly likely that vendors will be looking to the channel to gain early access and to increase their routes to market so that they can both become more intimate with their customers and position themselves at the heart of their customers’ security operations. The reseller benefits from a more stable and contracted revenue stream and the customer enjoys the benefits of hassle-free IT security at a lower cost and higher protection.
The future of MSS is bright - as it is the future of information security. The key is to have a compelling value proposition for customers, with the flexibility to provide services that fit the customer’s needs. The more complex security and its management becomes, the more attractive it will be for customers to hand over their complete information security management to external providers.
Vendors such as IBM ISS are providing Managed Security Services for resellers (e.g. Pentura Limited) to rebrand, enabling them to hold on to the customer relationship while providing their customers the highest service levels and protection without the need to make the massive investment in sites, technology, and personnel themselves.
Organisations of all sizes need security that can adapt to their ever-changing environments, regulatory requirements and stakeholder demands. Integrating security with business processes can help them to increase their efficiency and productivity, leading to cost savings and increased focus on the core business. Likewise, organisations need the ability to demonstrate that their security investment is delivering the protection they need, answering the question, “Are we more secure today than we were last year?” Most importantly, security solutions need to pre empt Internet threats before they impact business processes.
Managed security services put the reseller community in the driver’s seat, giving their customers the flexibility and choice to secure their business in the manner that best suits their needs. The powerful combination of managed services, security technology and security intelligence can be delivered when, where and how it is needed. It’s security that works for the customer, instead of putting the customer to work.
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