Gartner finds IT security spending up eight percent

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Despite many organizations facing flat-lining overall budgets due to the ailing economy, security software spending does not appear to be following suffering along, according to new figures from Gartner.

The research firm revealed Monday that it expects the worldwide software security market to total $14.5 billion this year, up eight percent from last year. The trend will continue next year, when Gartner anticipates the market will see a 13-percent gain in revenue to $16.3 billion.

The largest growth areas likely will be software-as-a-service and appliance offerings, according to Gartner. Small-and-medium-size businesses are expected to provide the greatest percentage jump in spending, as SMB owners "...are in catch-up mode compared with large companies," Ruggero Contu, a principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

"Although the worldwide security software market is affected by the economic downturn, the growth will continue to be strong in 2009, as security remains a critical area where cuts cannot be afforded," he said.

Enterprise security software revenue, from such solutions as endpoint and email protection and user provisioning, is expected to total $10.9 billion.

The firms that offer strong integrations with other products will come out on top, Contu predicted.

"End-users are gradually moving to better-integrated multiproducts, particularly in areas such as endpoint security and identity and access management," he said. "Vendors offering good integration in an already established and trusted technology partnership will be best-placed for success, as buyers prefer to deal with two or more vendors that already trust other's software and practices."

Along this line, Contu noted that 2008 brought a number of high-profile acquisitions, including McAfee picking up Secure Computing and Symantec buying MessageLabs. More consolidation is expected during the next several months, he said.

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