Security Is a Service

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-11-19 Print this article Print

Driver"> Security Is a Service Driver

Crucial to any discussion of service providers is the SSP. A late- September report from International Data Corp. forecasts $2.2 billion in SSP sales to financial companies alone by 2005—up from $848 million last year and accounting for roughly 10 percent of an SSP market that IDC predicts will grow during the same period from $6.7 billion to $21 billion.

The IDC figures, despite their focus on financial-sector buyers, imply that nonfinancial companies will boost their SSP spending by roughly one-third—compounded—over each of the next four years.

This rapid growth represents a combination of trends.

First, smaller companies are increasing their presence on the Net and especially their reliance on advanced technologies such as broadband. This creates new problems, such as exposure to a wider range of Internet attacks, as well as new opportunities. Its not practical for a small company to hire in-house specialists in an area so exotic, so vital and so volatile as Internet security.

Second, the pervasive adoption of the Net elevates customers expectations (backed up by a growing list of government regulations) for the integrity of a companys e-business presence. Purchased services, sometimes with their own recognized brand names in areas such as bill presentment and processing, provide customer assurance while outsourcing business and technical risk.

Security is merely one of the most visible areas in which many pressures combine to strengthen the hand of service providers. In general, as doing business on the Net ceases to be a novelty, customers will quickly come to expect a uniformly high level of professionalism and performance in all functions related to e-business. Anything less than industry-leading performance will soon be unacceptable, and purchased services will soon be the most economic way to deliver the kind of performance that customers demand.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developersÔÇÖ technical requirements on the companyÔÇÖs evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter companyÔÇÖs first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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