The focus on IT security continues to be a major issue for most organizations. The findings from our latest APEJ Continuum Study 2013 confirm that spending on IT security remains strong in this era of cautious IT budget.
As part of our annual Continuum Survey of 1,623 end-user organizations in APEJ, we looked at buyers' investment plans for security solutions. IT security is once again rated as the most important technology investment area. As organizations intensify their adoption of advanced technologies, significant gaps in information-security programs are exposed. Further, the list of organizations hit by cyber-attacks this year was long and varied. Thus IT security management remains high on companies' agendas as security is a big challenge for all organizations.
When asked about their security software deployment plan over the next 12 months, most organizations indicated that they would continue to spend on security solutions. About 35% of respondents mentioned that they will implement or upgrade their on-premises security solutions. At the same time, it was interesting to find that 49% of the respondents said that there would be no change in their security deployment plan. As organizations around the region are seeing a rise in threat levels, some are responding by adjusting their priorities and spending more. Together, more than 80% of the respondents said there would be no change or increase in their security solutions deployment plan. In other words most organizations expect to see a pattern of spending on security software similar to that in the previous year.
- More than 80% of the respondents say that there will be no change or increase in their security software solutions deployment plan. The security software market in the APEJ region registered an 11.2% growth in 2012, compared to that in 2011. We forecasted that the market would grow at 11.5% in 2013, which is in line with the survey results.
- The response from this survey clearly shows that organizations have a high degree of emphasis in improving operational efficiency to gain a better position in capturing additional growth. More than 37% of respondents from medium (100-499 employee size), and large (500+ employee size) size organizations and 30% small businesses say that they will implement or upgrade to on-premise solutions over the next 12 months. Compared to larger companies, small and medium businesses spend a large part of their IT budgets on security because they remain in "ramp-up" stage. IDC believes that this is because market conditions are continuously changing and as a result, the network that supports a business needs to be constantly updated.
- The APEJ region has a very broad spectrum of capabilities, maturity and variations in its outlook and optimism. Security spending trends aren't uniform across all countries. The results are mixed between mature and emerging countries. Respondents from Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and India intend to spend a higher proportion of their budget on security software. There is a perception in the market that organizations under tight security regulatory controls, for example, are spending more on security because they have no choice. However, the results tell a different story. This supports what we have been advocating for a while now. Some of the emerging countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have a greater opportunity even though the total addressable market size is small.
- While businesses rely more than ever on information security, the challenge of securing businesses continues to increase. As organizations try and keep up the pace, security and spending priorities are shifting. There's been a move away from endpoint security to identity and access management or vulnerability management and more focused projects. But many organizations still focus on preventing yesterday's attack, rather than tomorrow's.
- IDC strongly believes that organizations have to plan around security to protect sensitive information and in many cases, need to fulfil specific regulations to ensure proper safeguarding of information. IDC is of the opinion that security will remain the last item to be cut if needed and as IT becomes even more valuable to enterprises, the usage of IT security software should increase. Given the importance of risk management, government regulations and exposure through vulnerabilities the security market is full of opportunities.
- However, our conversations with CIOs and buyers across the region have shown that the complexity of most security solutions usually means that the sales cycles are long. Longer sales cycles could mean more pricing pressures.
The ability of organizations to shift their focus on security spending is an important factor as the nature of cyber crime continues to evolve. IT managers who participated in IDC's survey are hopeful about the prospects for the security software budget this year.