Storage and Security Future

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-11-07 Print this article Print


While head counts and software purchases in many business sectors have leveled off or are still dropping following the macroeconomic crisis of 2008-2009, storage hardware and data security purchasing remains on track or is increasing, thanks to the incessant amount of data flowing into businesses.

"In this economic climate, when one-third of CEOs are expecting their IT budgets to remain flat and many are expecting to see them reduced, the most important measure of your success isn't the ROI," Salem said. "It's ROY: return on yesterday."

Symantec appears to be well-positioned in the market at the present time. Its data-protection business is getting more robust as it starts to add more hardware into the mix with integrated appliances to simplify data-protection environments, Brian Babineau, ESG senior consulting analyst, told eWEEK.  

"[Symantec's] biggest competitor is EMC, but they should start paying more attention to CommVault," he added. "[CommVault] just made some major organizational shifts, with more emphasis put on the SMB market and cloud offerings to address this [market]. Symantec needs to continue to resource this part of the solution portfolio to maintain its growth strategy."

Enrique's Company

Salem, a Dartmouth College graduate, appears well-suited for his role at Symantec. He worked on the technical, sales and administrative sides in several companies-including two terms at Symantec that started in 1990-before being hand-picked by Thompson to succeed him in 2009.

"Enrique had a rough time at the start, but the company has really come around," ESG's Oltsik said. "DLP software sales are up 100 percent in 2011 over 2010. Symantec has done better than expected with the security assets it bought from VeriSign [in August 2010]. It has defended its desktop security well in the commercial sector and has grown share in the consumer market.

"The company continues to throw off a lot of cash, so I expect Symantec to continue to be aggressive on the M&A front. I'd say that this is Enrique's company at this point.  JWT's [former CEO Thompson's] shadow is gone, and Wall Street has gained confidence in Enrique due to some pretty good financial results."

According to ESG, Gartner and other analysts, storage capacity doubles in the enterprise every 18 months, and security spending continues to grow. Thus, Symantec is smack in the middle of two very lucrative IT markets. 

"Symantec should continue to be successful if it does nothing, but if I were to advise Enrique, I'd tell him to fill a few product gaps, continue to build a solutions-focused enterprise sales force, strive for leadership in storage/security SaaS services (even if it cannibalizes product sales) and add resources in growing economies," Oltsik said.

On Salem's watch, Symantec has posted a number of distinctions. For example, the company recently made Norton Online Family, an award-winning online family-safety service, available for free worldwide in 25 languages. This gives parents the comprehensive tools they need to not only block inappropriate Websites, but to also connect with their children's online activities.

In terms of green IT, Symantec in fiscal year 2011 nearly doubled the number of U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified buildings it owns, from nine in FY10 to a total of 16, including an enterprise data center. In governance and ethics, Symantec created the Global Supply Chain Manufacturing and Fulfillment Code of Conduct for its Direct Suppliers.

Symantec is one of a handful of billion-dollar-plus-revenue security companies that offer a comprehensive enterprise security portfolio. This positions the company well moving forward.

"Our role is to help people share information, but not hurt themselves in the process, and do it in a way that allows them to get the benefits of sharing without taking unnecessary risks," Salem said.

"I believe that I can bring people together by sharing information. I think it's been proved that it works."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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