A Gartner survey found that 75% of organisations are pursuing security vendor consolidation in 2022, up from 29% in 2020.
“Security and risk management leaders are increasingly dissatisfied with the operational inefficiencies and the lack of integration of a heterogenous security stack,” said John Watts, VP analyst at Gartner. “As a result, they are consolidating the number of security vendors they use.”
The survey found that 57% of organisations are working with fewer than 10 vendors for their security needs, as they are looking to optimise to fewer vendors in key areas like secure access service edge (SASE) and extended detection and response (XDR).
No. 1 benefit of consolidation
The survey found that organisations want to consolidate their security vendors to reduce complexity and improve risk posture, not to save on budget or to improve procurement. Among participants in the survey, 65% expect to improve their overall risk posture, and only 29% of respondents expect reduced spending on licensing.
Watts opined that cost optimisation should not be the primary driver for vendor consolidation.
“Organisations that look to optimise costs must reduce products, licenses and features, or ultimately renegotiate contracts.”John Watts
Organisations that have not pursued security vendor consolidation yet indicated that the two primary impediments to consolidation were time constraints and having a vendor partner that is too rigid (34% of respondents for each answer).
Opportunities for consolidation
Lengthy procurement processes or requests for proposals are allowing for consolidated offerings, such as XDR for endpoints and SASE for edge connectivity and security with integration on the backend.
The survey found that 41.5% of respondents plan to have adopted SASE within their organisations by the end of 2022, while 54.5% of organisations have plans to adopt XDR by the end of 2022.
“Security and risk management leaders must consider XDR and SASE as compelling options to start their consolidation journey,” said Dionisio Zumerle, VP analyst at Gartner.
“SASE provides secure enterprise access, while XDR focuses on detecting and responding to threats through increased visibility on networks, cloud, endpoints and other components.”Dionisio Zumerle
In fact, the survey found that 57% of organisations resolved security threats faster after implementing an XDR strategy. More than half of surveyed organisations use SASE projects to simplify network and security policy management and improve security posture.
“While 89% of surveyed organisations want SASE and XDR to work together, security and risk management leaders will often opt to keep them distinct from one another but ensure they can interoperate,” said Zumerle.
He concluded that this is an approach validated by 46% of surveyed organisations, which allows for flexibility to select best-of-breed functionality.
Matts added that security and IT leaders should plan at least two years for consolidation as it takes time to effectively consolidate and consider incumbent vendor switching costs.
“It is also important to anticipate vendor M&A disruption as the security market is always consolidating but never consolidated,” he added.