The worldwide market for IT security and business continuity products and services is growing twice as fast as IT spending in general. By 2006, IDC expects this market to surpass $150 billion. Despite this growth, the leading IT research and advisory firm believes the current level of spending is not nearly enough.

"The post-September scenario saw an initial burst of security and business continuity spending, but much of that has fizzled," said John Gantz, IDC's chief research officer. "Despite the lessons of September 11, businesses still tend to see IT security and business continuity as an IT issue, not a business issue. And the fragmented nature of the market and confusing array of alternatives isn't making it easy for companies to develop coherent, integrated security and continuity strategies."

In its first of a series of telebriefings on security and business continuity, IDC's Knowledge Center team pointed to several key factors responsible for spending levels in security and business continuity not being where they should, including:

  • Companies still perceive security as predominantly an IT issue versus a business continuity issue.
  • The market for security and continuity products and services is fragmented – there are too many holes to fill and the selection of products and services remains confusing.
  • Vendors are focusing on fear, uncertain, and doubt (the FUD factor), which is scaring off customers, rather than the business value of good IT security and business continuity plans.
  • The quantification of the risk and costs of system failures remains amystery. While there are oft-quoted numbers on the cost of lost business from computer downtime, these have little relevance forindividual companies or computer departments.
  • Overall, IDC believes there's no one leader that can currently offer a complete security and business continuity solution. However, opportunities are available for vendors who refocus their business positioning, create marketing messages that speak to value rather than FUD, and understand the rapidly shifting security needs being driven by new computing styles and new applications. "Although we think September 11 wasn't the wake-up call for enterprises that it should have been," Gantz said, "the truth is that this is still a high-growth opportunity for IT security and business continuity vendors. This sector already accounts for 7 percent of all IT spending and will grow to over 10 percent by 2006. And, from a survey we conducted this month of 1,000 IT managers in the United States, it's the one area in which IT spending went up in the last six months."

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