By 2015, 10 percent of overall IT security enterprise product capabilities will be delivered in the cloud, according to Gartner Inc., which expects the cloud-based security services market to reach $4.2 billion by 2016.
"Demand remains high from buyers looking to cloud-based security services to address a lack of staff or skills, reduce costs, or comply with security regulations quickly," said Eric Ahlm, research director at Gartner. "This shift in buying behavior from the more traditional on-premises equipment toward cloud-based delivery models offers good opportunities for technology and service providers with cloud delivery capabilities, but those without such capabilities need to act quickly to adapt to this competitive threat."
A January 2013 Gartner survey on security spending shows high demand from security buyers for cloud-based security service offerings. Security buyers from the U.S. and Europe, representing a cross section of industries and company sizes, stated that they plan to increase the consumption of several common cloud services during the next 12 months.
"The overall customer demand for numerous cloud security services presents an opportunity for creating or partnering with cloud services brokers," said Ahlm. "The customer demand for a brokerage becomes apparent as organizations move more assets to the cloud and require multiple security services to span multiple clouds and/or mixtures of clouds and on-premises."
Gartner is advising VARs to supplement product implementations with cloud-based alternatives that offer large customers reduced operational cost and thereby increase the likelihood of customer retention in this market segment. VARs that fail to offer cloud-based alternatives might experience a decline in implementation revenue from customers seeking cloud-based solutions in certain market segments.
Ease of deployment and relief from technology maintenance offer buyers of cloud-based controls direct cost savings. Based on the value that cloud security brings, security buyers may purchase less hardware or software and require fewer implementation services. They can budget through operating expenditure, rather than through capital expenditure. In addition, cloud-based controls can provide more-current protection, sometimes avoiding complex and costly upgrades.