IDC Special Report Series Predicts U.S. SMB Security Spending to Top $5.6 Billion in 2015

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., May 29, 2012 – A newly released report series from International Data Corporation (IDC) finds that small and medium business (SMB) spending on security technology continues to show strong growth and will exceed $5.6 billion in 2015. While overall SMB IT spending is forecast to grow at a rate of 5-6% per year over the forecast period, SMB spending on security products and solutions is expected to grow almost twice as fast.

Changing SMB needs, especially the empowering of mobile workers and reliance on cloud resources, have made security an important enabler of resources for growing companies. "SMBs are more focused on security as a way to gain access to more capabilities, but less focused on security as a cost to be reduced once minimum standards are met," said Ray Boggs, vice president for Small and Medium Business Markets research at IDC. Charles Kolodgy, vice president of Security Products pointed to the expansion in key capabilities — especially online ones — as a major driver of new SMB security investment.

Key findings from the report series include the following:

The six key security product areas – endpoint, messaging, network, Web, identity and access management (IAM), and security and vulnerability management (SVM) – will all show strong growth throughout the forecast period.

The changing ways that security capabilities are implemented will also represent opportunities for technology suppliers. SMB spending on software-as-a-service and security appliances are both forecast to grow at double digit rates in the coming years.

Both small and medium businesses identify security as a key IT investment priority. About 19% of small firms (under 100 employees) cite improving security and security management as key IT spending priorities. This percentage almost doubles to 36% among medium-sized firms (100-999 employees).

IDC identified six key elements for success in the SMB security market: an effective Web site, education, dedicated products, appliances, SaaS, and channel support. But while many companies do well in three or four categories, no single company is ahead of the pack in all six.

"Small and medium-sized businesses have as much need for information technology as much larger companies," said Kolodgy. "They also require security because they are a target of cybercriminals. But there are unique issues that prevent SMBs from just buying what large enterprises purchase."

"To meet the needs of SMB customers, vendors need to understand three components," Boggs continued. "These are: 1.) understanding the big picture SMB opportunity: 2.) understanding the product needs of SMB prospects: and 3.) understanding the SMB purchase process."

The IDC report series includes three parts:

U.S. SMB Security Customer Profiles and Adoption Opportunity (forthcoming) – This report examines the ownership, purchase plans, and attitudes of small and medium-size businesses based on surveys of 1000 SMBs nationwide.

U.S. SMB Security Market Sizing and Forecast, 2011-2015 (IDC #233357)– This report provides a five year forecast of six key security product categories with separate small business and medium-size business market estimates. The report also includes breakouts for total spending across three platforms: on-premises software, appliances, and software-as-a-service (SaaS).

SMB Security Competitive Best Practices/Key Performance Attributes (IDC #233439) – This report discusses the six key performance factors and examines how fifteen different competitors compare across products and programs. The report identifies key "best of breed" performance factors designed to help vendor performance and customer decision making.

Key findings from the SMB security report series will be presented in an IDC Web conference to be held on May 31. Hosted by Ray Boggs and Charles Kolodgy, the Web conference will examine SMB security needs, attitudes, and spending. Details and registration for this Web conference can be found at http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=IDC_P25515.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.