Solid growth in the anti-virus market will help underpin an 8.7 per cent spike in global enterprise IT security spending next year.
That is according to analyst Canalys, which has also laid out its predictions for the security channel for 2012.
The market watcher said it expected the enterprise security market to be worth $22.9bn (£14.6bn) next year. More than a tenth of that (11.3 per cent) will come from the grand old man of the market – anti-virus – which is set to increase 6.8 per cent.
"Though a mature technology, AV software continues to drive revenue for many resellers, both large and small. It is the first step most SMBs take in securing their infrastructure," Canalys said.
It predicted that security vendors will increasingly bypass the channel by selling solutions through their online stores. It recently unearthed the fact that Symantec is now offering up to 1,000 licences through its web shop and claimed others could follow suit.
"This is a strategic move to gain share in the high-volume, low-value end of the market, as many SMBs buy online," Canalys said.
"Freemium" offerings will also continue to gain traction, particularly among micro-businesses, the analyst added. Some 40 per cent of the 179 channel partners it recently quizzed indicated that more than a fifth of their SMB customers used free AV software for PCs.
"Vendors will need to develop solutions in adjacent areas, such as web-threat security and data protection, to differentiate and demonstrate a better value proposition," Canalys said. "They will also have to invest in training to enable their resellers to educate customers on the gaps in their security protection."
Symantec was one of several vendors to encourage greater specialisation among its resellers this year, and Canalys said the trend is set to continue into 2012.
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