Managed Security Market: No Vacancy
To paraphrase Yogi Berra: “Nobody goes into the managed security market anymore. It’s too crowded.” That’s no joke. Each week, another tech company launches a managed security service for VARs. The choices are becoming overwhelming. How will the market shake out? Here’s an educated guess from The VAR Guy.
Within six to 12 months, the managed security market will consolidate rapidly. Traditional IT leaders like Cisco and Symantec will empower their leading VARs with managed security platforms, while thousands of break-fix resellers fail to evolve and ultimately head to the grave.
At the same time, we’ll see distributors like Tech Data and Ingram Micro build closer relationships with MSP platform providers — companies like Autotask, ConnectWise, Keseya and N-able Technologies.
By late 2008, the market will reach an inflection point. On one side of the industry, technology vendors like Cisco, Microsoft and Symantec will have a critical mass of followers. On the other side of the industry, distributors will have an ecosystem of MSP platform providers working with one another.
With any luck, somebody will introduce a family of APIs (application programming interfaces) to tie together all of the different MSP systems. At least two organizations — the MSP Alliance and CompTIA — could play a role in helping to define those standards.
Now, for the wildcard: Will MSP platform providers launch IPOs in 2008 or will they sell out to distributors and technology companies? Autotask, for one, already works closely with Ingram Micro. But selling out to Ingram may not be an attractive option, because distributors aren’t exactly high-growth stocks.
Regardless of the future, the MSP market is reaching a saturation point with technology vendors and platform providers. The latest entrant is Iomega. Yes, the Zip Drive folks now offer a managed security service. The VAR Guy feels safer already.