Aberdeen Group: Unbaised Managed Security Praise?

I've read research from firms like Aberdeen Group, Gartner and International Data Corp. for more than a decade. Sometimes I'm impressed. Sometimes I read information that affirms what I already know. But on some occasions, I see data that sounds like thinly veiled vendor messaging.

A case in point: Aberdeen has issued a report stating that "All best-in class companies leverage managed security services to bolster defenses." As the editorial director of MSPmentor, I'm certainly bullish about managed security services. But anytime you hear a research firm say "everybody is doing it," you should proceed with caution.

In my mind, the vast majority of businesses can benefit from managed security. But the managed services industry has to avoid the temptation to declare victory within all customer settings.

Here's another way to think of it: Thousands of businesses benefit from Salesforce.com's hosted CRM applications. But some customers, for whatever reasons, strongly prefer on-premises applications. No technology is all good or all bad.

Remember, when microwave ovens came along, they complemented (but didn't fully replace) traditional ovens and stove-tops. Such is the case with managed services and software as a service (SaaS). Both approaches offer plenty of upside to most companies. But managed services and SaaS won't fully replace traditional IT.

Even as we all continue to push down the managed services path, let's be sure to maintain a critical eye when we see vendor-sponsored research proclaiming something to be good for all leading businesses. A "one size fits all" approach rarely, after all, works in IT. When it does, you usually wind up in a commodity market -- such as PCs. And we all know MSPs can't survive on commodity margins.

2/10: Correction and Update: One of our readers accurately points out that the statement "All best-in-class companies leverage managed security services to bolster defenses" was featured in a press release issued by the report's sponsor. However, Aberdeen was also quoted in the release.

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