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The Security Market: Looking for love in all the wrong places

by Jack Santos  |  May 6, 2015  |  1 Comment

I had a conversation with my security colleagues about their impressions of the state of the security software market – especially coming out of RSA (See Anton Chuvakin’s recap here ).  The impression was that we have a market run amok – every vendor trying to do everything (jack of all trades master of none), lots of niche vendors; customers buying products that overlap, not knowing what they have that can do the job, and managing multiple products that don’t want to be managed – or at least don’t want to play nice with each other.

This, my friends, sounds like a market ripe for fallout.

But, as was pointed out, there is a lot of money in buyer’s hands, and a lot of pressure/motivation to do something, ANYTHING,  to prevent breaches, mitigate risk, and maybe even save your job before the next state sponsored hacker puts your emails in the wild.  A red light district loves a bunch of drunken sailors in the ‘hood…but is it sustainable?  Or is it, as Bob Blakely (former Gartner analyst) said in 2007 “always consolidating, but never consolidated.”

My CIO reptilian brain kicks in and I worry about “how do I make a decision with a manageable set of vendors that I can trust and develop a long term relationship with.”  Or, more to the point, how do all of us, CIO or not, make the right recommendations and decisions that really helps our company stay out trouble.

What do you think? Is the security market headed for a fall? Are a lot of end user organizations going to get hurt with poor purchases, before things get better?  Or will the last standing BIG (security) BOX vendor eventually clean up?

Our research with Magic Quadrants, critical capabilities, evaluation criteria, and in depth assessments certainly help with decision-making…but the decision-making isn’t getting any easier given the market….




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Jack Santos
Research VP
7 years at Gartner
40 years IT industry

Jack Santos is a Research Vice President with Gartner, part of the Enterprise Architecture and Technology Innovation team within the Gartner for IT Leaders product. He focuses on enterprise architecture and technology trends. Mr. Santos' specific area of research covers individual development, leadership and management practices for enterprise architects, EA innovation, and collaboration approaches. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on The Security Market: Looking for love in all the wrong places

  1. Pete Herzog says:

    “how do I make a decision with a manageable set of vendors that I can trust and develop a long term relationship with.”

    This is an issue we’ve managed to address with minimal mess through trust metrics. I’m going to be in Virginia next month giving a short class on exactly this. If you’re on the East Coast I invite you to come by and I’d be happy to show you our research on this topic. If more CIOs did trust analysis there’d be a lot less trouble. Details here:

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