Security software revenues soften as commoditisation bites: Gartner

Australian spending on IT security software grew 8 per cent year-on-year in 2013, outpacing global average growth of 4.9 per cent but trailing the 11.7 per cent jump in security software spending across the Tasman, new figures from Gartner confirm.

The company's latest market evaluation found a global security software market worth $US19.9 billion ($A21.2b) with what research director Rugero Contu called “slower, but still healthy, growth” and commoditisation of the endpoint security and secure email gateway subsegments driving down overall revenues.

“Overall, the larger trend that emerged in 2013 was that of the democratization of security threats, driven by the easy availability of malicious software and infrastructure (via the underground economy) that can be used to launch advanced targeted attacks,' Contu said in a statement.

Gartner had previously predicted that the Australian market – including both security products and services – would outpace the rest of the world by growing 12.2 percent in 2013 to be worth $1.7 billion.

Yet with the price of security software dropping over the course of the year, services demand couldn't make up the decline in software revenues: the local market was worth $408.1m in 2013, with New Zealand customers spending $NZ85m ($A77.4m) over the course of the year.

Increasing engagement of business leaders in security purchasing decisions has changed the dynamics of the security software-purchasing lifecycle, Contu added.

The “ubiquity of security threats has led organizations to realize that traditional security approaches have gaps, thereby leading them to rethink and invest more in security technology,” he explained.

“The consequent involvement of the business in security purchase decisions has both a positive and negative effect on software vendor revenue. With every company becoming a technology company, more organizations are now looking to leverage a multitude of data points to become more competitive. This desire to become more digital brings with it its own challenges in terms of securing this data to prevent data breaches, and to protect against advanced targeted attacks.”

Symantec was the largest security software vendor by far, with 18.7 per cent market share and revenues nearly as high as the next three largest providers – McAfee, IBM and Trend Micro – put together.

Emerging Asia-Pacific countries showed the fastest growth worldwide, with security software revenues growing by 12.8 per cent during the year and greater China growing at 11 per cent. Mature markets like North America, Western Europe and what Gartner called “mature” Asia-Pacific countries accounted for 83 per cent of the total market in 2013 but grew at only 4.1 per cent during the year.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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