After years of predictions that more enterprises would soon begin ceding management of their IT security responsibilities over to vendors and professional services companies, IDC is reporting steady growth in the managed security services sector, and predicting continued expansion of the market over the next five years.
According to a report issued Tuesday, IDC analysts charted the U.S. managed security services market at approximately $1.3 billion in revenues during 2007, an increase of 19.6 percent over 2006.
That figure is expected to increase to $2.8 billion by 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate of 17.2 percent, the new forecast contends.
IDC experts said that increasing pressure on users and continued growth in the complexity of both attacks and systems defense mechanisms is making it such that managed services are at long last resonating with an increasing number of organizations.
Compliance concerns also continue to drive interest in security services, the research company said.
"Among the many dynamics shaping the U.S. managed security services market today, growing security complexity, the evolving pace of today's technology, and stringent compliance mandates are driving demand and spending for managed security services," Irida Xheneti, IDC's research analyst for Security Services, said in a report summary.
Deploying new security tools and maintaining all the layers of defensive technologies already in place in most environments is proving too unwieldy for many organizations to stomach, the experts report.
The rapidly scaling complexity of other technologies such as Web applications is also putting more pressure on organizations to find third-party specialists to handle security work, according to IDC.
"Given these dynamics, IDC believes that the managed security services market will continue to experience significant growth," the report submits.
To the letter, the company contends that the U.S. managed security services market will continue to experience double-digit growth rates for the next five years, due to "an increase in security complexity, internal and external pressures, and the increased demand for cost-effective security management solutions."
However, despite the growing demand for security services, IDC said that the managed security services market "remains fragmented," with leading contenders for growth including telecommunications companies, systems integrators and traditional security product vendors."
As such, the market will continue to see more merger and acquisition activity "as larger, more established integrators and vendors acquire security assets and leverage their existing channels to drive solutions to market," according to the report.
"Services that enable customers to mitigate and manage risk and meet compliance regulations while increasing productivity will continue to be in high demand," IDC said. "The complexity of managing security, the high cost of hiring internal staff and the shortage of IT security expertise will continue to be core drivers for managed security services spending."
Matt Hines has been following the IT industry for over a decade as a reporter and blogger, and has been specifically focused on the security space since 2003, including a previous stint writing for eWEEK and contributing to the Security Watch blog. Hines is currently employed as marketing communications manager at Core Security Technologies, a Boston-based maker of security testing software. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Core Security, and neither the company, nor its products and services will be actively discussed in the blog. Please send news, research or tips to SecurityWatchBlog@gmail.com.