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Palo Alto Networks CEO: Product Consolidation On Fewer Platforms Is Inevitable

Jay Fitzgerald

‘We have created so much fragmentation. … Almost every customer I’ve talked to has an average of 30 to 50 cybersecurity vendors,’ says Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora.

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Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora says his cybersecurity firm is in a good position to take advantage of a coming products consolidation pushed by overwhelmed customers seeking more simplicity and fewer vendors when building up protections against cyberattacks.

At Palo Alto Networks’ Ignite ‘22 conference this week in Las Vegas, Arora told audience members and later news reporters that consolidation of products on fewer platforms is already in the early stages of happening within the industry.

But he indicated consolidation will really take off as customers move to replace key existing products or make major upgrades of their older security systems.

[RELATED STORY: Palo Alto Networks To Roll Out Major Partner Enhancements Over The Next Year]

“There’s a natural renewal cycle,” he said. “Consolidation is an outcome, not a strategy.”

 The ultimate problem is market fragmentation, with literally thousands of security companies vying to develop and sell products to those in need, he said.

“We have created so much fragmentation,” Arora said. “Almost every customer I‘ve talked to has an average of 30 to 50 cybersecurity vendors.”

He ticked off a number of reasons why IT personnel are overwhelmed today – and will increasingly demand that more products come on more manageable platforms with fewer vendors.

One reason is that the security industry may have developed many security products but companies have largely put the “onus of integration to our customers,” Arora said.

He also noted that too often companies provide security products to organizations that alert them to all sorts of threats – and then leave it up to customers to deal with those alerts.

He said all of this is occurring as many organizations struggle to manage their data centers and manage the migration of some of their data to the cloud.

It’s becoming “impossible for a small company to build” and maintain its own data center, he said.

As for the cloud, the need for security simply follows the migration to the cloud.

“My contention is (over) the next ten years 50 percent of computing will be done in the public cloud” and require a whole new set of security precautions, Arora said.

The bottom line: Customers are getting crushed with complexity and the amount of work they need to do to protect their operations – and they need consolidation.

“Customers want the consolidation,” Arora said.

Not surprisingly, Arora said his Santa Clara, Calif.-based cybersecurity powerhouse is in a good position to provide customers with comprehensive zero trust security across the entire stack.

He noted Palo Alto Networks’ products are consistently ranked high in surveys, particularly in Gartner’s influential Magic Quadrant reports.

“The only way you can get (comprehensive) zero trust security is through Palo Alto,” he said.

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