SA IT firms to up security spend

Overall security software spending in South Africa is set to increase 9.7% year on year in 2014 to total $149.54 million, according to research and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

This, it said, represents a slight increase on the 2013 figure of 9.4%, with IDC attributing the market’s buoyancy to an increase in targeted attacks, complexity of threats, the increased priority given to IT security, the impact of regulatory compliance, the consumerisation of IT, and the increased online presence of companies.

IDC predicts even stronger growth for the South African security software market over the coming years, with spending set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% from $136.30 million in 2013 to $201.52 million in 2017.

The market’s growth will continue to be driven by the efforts of South African enterprises to protect sensitive information such as critical corporate and customer data, especially within the telecommunications, finance, and government verticals.

“The need for better regulatory compliance and risk management, as well as the emergence of cloud, mobility, and virtualisation, will lead to increased demand for security software solutions.” said Lise Hagen, research manager for software and IT services at IDC South Africa.

“This, however, creates a catch-22 situation where the austere economic climate has caused budget constraints, compelling organizations to invest in the bare minimum necessary to comply with security regulations,” Hagen said.

However, IDC noted that when the POPI Act comes into full effect in South Africa, organisations will have to increase their levels of software, infrastructure, and security spending.

“The passage of the act will escalate the need for regulatory compliance and risk management, which in turn will drive investment in security solutions, particularly in the areas of security and vulnerability management (SVM) and identity and access management (IAM),” Hagen said.

Against the anticipated increase in security software spending, IDC anticipates firms to remain cautious on spending as exchange rate fluctuations have a big impact on South African security software purchases.

As clients seek more cost-effective solutions due to such fluctuations, price-based competition will increase among vendors, the advisory group said.

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SA IT firms to up security spend