Small-business-focused solution providers can look forward to a banner year in security sales in 2006.
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Indeed, some 58 percent of small businesses rate IT security as one of their top spending priorities for next year, according to recent CRN research.
But what will they be buying? In a word, simplicity.
The biggest deterrent to selling security in the small-business space is that it can be too overwhelming for the small-business owner who has to deal with running his business day to day.
With the dizzying array of acronyms and point products out there in the security space, a lot of small-business owners up to this point have crossed their fingers and hoped for the best.
“When we go in to sell a firewall, our competition is often a $50 firewall from Best Buy,” said Rory Vanselow, owner of Peak Resource Center in Wauwatosa, Wis. “It’s a simple solution, but it’s not enough anymore.”
But a number of factors are helping to turn that tide. Constant media coverage of identity theft and hacks, as well as the recent Zotob outbreaks have heightened awareness and fear among small-business owners. And more and more security vendors are offering real protection in packages that small businesses can understand and afford.
Companies like SonicWall, WatchGuard and Fortinet are adding more features to their all-in-one security gateways. But they also are adding threat management services that used to be available only to big-budget enterprise companies. SonicWall is even taking this a step further with its purchase of Lasso Logic, adding affordable, continuous data protection to the mix of once-enterprise-only offerings now available to small businesses.
With these one-box products, small businesses can expect zero-day protection on par with any enterprise solution out there. And it’s catching on with customers.
Small-business customers don’t want to hear about UTM, AV, IDS vs. IPS or NAC. They want to hear one thing: “This will protect you, and you can afford it.”
How are you keeping it simple? Let me know at (415) 947-6229 or via e-mail at email@example.com.