The market for cloud-based security services is set to explode in the next few years. Are you prepared to feed off the energy of this explosion, or will it send you down in flames? A recent Infonetics survey estimates that global demand for managed cloud-based security services will grow 83 percent between 2011 and 2016, with North America as well as “greenfield opportunities” in developing Asian and Latin American markets driving the rapid increase.
Why such a dramatic increase in the need for managed cloud-based security services? At the most basic level, the growing variety of devices, platforms, and apps running on cloud platforms naturally expands the security risk. But the situation is more complex. Infonetics data shows that the volume of network security attacks is up significantly in 2012, with more threats coming—or appearing to come—from trusted sources.
And hackers aren’t only targeting the cloud-based systems of large enterprises. By 2016, Infonetics predicts that spending on managed security services by mid-sized organizations will be on a par with large organizations. Considering the continuing economic slowdown and how much less capital mid-sized organizations have than their large competitors, this statistic by itself demonstrates how pervasive the need for cloud security is becoming.
One reason for the aforementioned growth in solutions running on the cloud is that the cloud is becoming more democratic, with increased access to public hosted clouds in particular opening up the cloud to smaller players who can now afford the up-front costs to achieve the long-term ROI. And fortunately for MSPs, most organizations simply do not have the capacity or knowhow to host their own cloud solutions and services, and that goes for cloud security solutions and services, as well.
Beating the CompetitionNaturally, when a market grows this rapidly, IT service providers take notice. MSPs should not expect to have the cloud-based security services market to themselves. As stated by Infonetics, major Internet and platform companies including Google and Microsoft are integrating content security (including cloud) into their larger business applications offerings and distributed denial of service (DDoS) specialists like Prolexic and Verisign are also becoming important players.
So how do MSPs beat the competition? First, get in the game. Any serious MSP with a security practice should have an effective set of cloud-based security services ready to go. Second, use personalization and scalability (especially for those increasingly important midsized companies) to counter cost benefits larger providers can offer. Finally, start aggressively chasing cloud-based security clients NOW. A lot of managed cloud-based security services growth is expected to happen in the next few years, but most of it will be generated by MSPs who have already established themselves. You know an explosion is coming, do you want to prepare for it or cross your fingers and hope you don’t get burned?