A recent survey of IT security professionals undertaken by Gatepoint Research investigated key characteristics and requirements of IT security solution buyers. The corresponding Market Brief is designed to aid IT security solution marketers and sellers to better understand the current nature, attitudes and behaviors of buyers in this marketplace as they go through their buyer’s journey.
Here’s a brief synopsis of some of the report’s key findings:
• Market segments with growing IT security solution budgets include mid-sized companies and companies in retail and healthcare, in particular.
With comparably less mature IT security than financial institutions, major retailers have recently experienced a rash of customer credit card thefts, and have drawn focus on the critical need for heightened security measures. Correspondingly, retailers have increased their budgets for security spending. As concerns healthcare companies, since the enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the security of patient information has been a primary concern – and increasingly so as records become digitized and more widely available online.
• Solutions cost is important but being able to demonstrate that solutions meet customer’s detailed requirements is paramount; for example, being able to integrate into customer’s defense-in-depth strategies.
This comment from one responder summarizes the general sentiment:
“Cost is not a high priority. Functionality and ‘does what we are looking for,’ are key. We determine need and objectives then vet out three solutions. Objectives are more important than ease of use. How well does it fit our criteria? We don’t like to spend extra on features we don’t need.”
• Sales people must be able to navigate Proof-of-Concept demonstrations successfully and be able to either answer the buyer’s detailed questions or arrange for the appropriate subject matter experts to interact.
The level of personal risk involved with making a major security purchase is significant. Decision makers want to be confidant in their choice of vendor. For significant purchases, most organizations undertake research into available solutions and then invite the top candidate(s)—best fit to needs—to run a proof of concept (POC).
• Rapidly emerging trends such as the use of cloud services, mobile computing and bring your-own-device (BYOD) are significant priorities and some of the biggest sources of vulnerability.
The increasing use of social media and mobile and cloud computing services residing outside of the corporate firewall represents a growing security risk identified by almost all survey respondents. Managing and securing BYOD was identified as the biggest individual challenge for security professionals.
In today’s digital context, the challenges for IT security professionals demand increasing attention. Central to these challenges is their ability to support the needs of their user populations for increasingly mobile and untethered IT capabilities, while maintaining high levels of compliance and guarding against ever more sophisticated threats. The complexity of IT security has buyers seeking vendors with a deep expertise and keen understanding of their needs. Vendors who can prove effective and efficient in addressing buyer needs, while conveying a strong, reassuring sense of proficiency and support, will find themselves well-positioned when final buying decisions are made.
For further insight into the needs and mindsets of IT security solution buyers, read our full report which includes the following sections:
- Who are the primary buyers of IT security solutions?
- What’s happening to IT security budgets in 2014?
- What are the top IT security priorities in 2014?
- What are the biggest causes of vulnerability?
- How satisfied are IT security professionals with their current solutions and security capabilities?
- How do IT security professionals buy?
- What do IT security professionals expect from vendor’s sales reps?
- Who are the IT security solution decision makers?
Click here for a copy of our Market Brief.