Australian enterprise market running out of steam

The brave new world of information security for Symantec Corp. involves looking first to consumer demand and wants and then scaling products for the enterprise market.

According to Symantec the company will continue to have a “healthy” business at the infrastructure level, but the consumer side of the business is where they will make their first steps. According to Symantec Australian managing director David Sykes the trends appearing in the consumer space fundamentally drove them towards the merger with Veritas.

Sykes said meeting market demand in the consumer space for information protection, backup and availability will allow consumers to “look after themselves” while online – a key element of security in the new world of Security 2.0.

“Changes that we have seen in the whole threat landscape were unquestionably one of the things we identified very early in the piece that led us over a year and a half ago to merge with Veritas, Sykes said.

“It is what we saw in the consumer space that fundamentally drove us towards the Veritas/Symantec merger, the consumer saying I want protection and backup and availability and those trends highlighted to us traditional functional security not going to be good enough … the consumer business is fundamentally different to the enterprise and what we are really trying to do there is put the power back into the hands of the consumer and give them more capability to be able to look after themselves.

“It has been great fun to watch the last year and see so many other companies come out and ratify that strategy such as EMC and RSA, IBM and ISS, and NetApp and Decru and time and time again we are seeing key players in the industry follow the Symantec strategy and starting to bring storage, availability and security together.”

Hydrasight analyst Michael Warrilow said the consumer-orientated focus adopted by Symantec reflects an underlying trend in the security industry – there is only so much growth to be had in the enterprise market to begin with.

Warrilow said however you look at it consolidation is a reaction to the limited growth opportunities for vendors in the enterprise market.

“As more consumer technology comes into the enterprise, vendors like Symantec will try and tackle growth from that angle because enterprise vendors are responding to limited growth in the enterprise market,” Warrilow said.

“Microsoft is now offering consumer antivirus, HP earns a hell of a lot of money from consumer orientated technology like cameras and PDAs and the like.

“Symantec, possibly more than most vendors, has a history and pedigree in the consumer space and understands the needs of that market. Even SAP [AG] is now realizing you cannot strip down an enterprise product, take a zero off the price and then sell into the SMB (small and medium-sized business) market.”

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