Industry analysts vary on their opinions on the growth and health of the technology market. Depending on which report you read, growth will fall somewhere between .6 percent and 3.4 percent. Of course, different technology segments are growing at different rates.
Few technology segments are growing faster than security. Market analysts agree the market for security products and services is growing at an annual rate of 8 percent to 10 percent, and will continue to do so through the end of the decade. At this pace, the security market could go from $70 billion in sales in 2015 to $140 billion or more by 2020.
Some people may see these numbers and think they spell a chance to sell more products. That’s a fair conclusion, but there’s more to be thinking about. Rather than only approaching security from a product sales perspective, we should also approach the problem from a systemic risk-management perspective that identifies exposures, continuously works to fill gaps, and measures security performance and effectiveness. Think of it as a lifecycle approach in which we have a persistent engagement with our customers.
What does a security lifecycle engagement look like?
- Assess Security Posture. Start with a security assessment. Identify the security tools that are in place and those that are missing. Identify each customer’s security needs based on risk exposure and the potential consequences of a security breach.
- Fill Gaps: Deploy new products and services that reduce risk exposure and make security more manageable. The goal is to help customers maintain confidentiality, data integrity, and operational availability.
- Optimize: Make sure the security technologies deployed work as intended. Individual security products are rarely effective on their own. Once you’ve helped customers identify gaps, you need to integrate disparate technologies and test them to ensure operational performance.
- Offer Support: Security requires domain expertise that few enterprises have on their own. Lend your expertise and skill to help customers understand risks and security incidents, remediate breaches, and investigate performance lapses. Through support, you’ll provide a valuable service and learn more about your customers’ security needs.
- Measure Performance: Help customers establish policies and processes that provide a framework for measuring security performance and effectiveness. Through performance measures, you can demonstrate to customers the value of their security investments and justify future investments.
- Make Adjustments: Based on the performance measures and the original security plan that came out of the assessment, make adjustments to fix deficiencies and safeguard against future and anticipated threats.
By engaging in security lifecycle management, you’ll have a greater understanding of customers’ needs. This, in turn, will lead to greater potential for product sales, professional services engagement, and extended managed security services contracts. The result of holistic and persistent security is higher ROI for the customer and greater profitability for you, the partner.
My ask is that all of McAfee partners will keep this mindset when they walk into a customer meeting, discover an opportunity, or engage with a customer renewal. Let’s be the best trusted advisors that we can be to our customers.