A total 75 per cent of organisations plan to consolidate the number of security vendors they use, a Gartner survey of 418 respondents found.
That percentage has increased significantly across North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA, as only 29 per cent were looking to consolidate vendors in 2020. The main reasons are an increase in dissatisfaction with operational inefficiencies and lack of integration of a heterogenous security stack, the survey found.
Companies look to reduce the number of vendors they work with in key areas like secure access service edge (SASE) and extended detection and response (XDR). The survey found that 57 per cent of organisations are working with fewer than ten vendors for their security needs.
Perhaps as a result of this shift in enterprises’ priorities, some vendors have already started to combine some products to offer simplified enterprise security. In February 2022, for example, Forcepoint announced an all-in-one cloud platform that integrates zero trust capabilities and SASE technologies so security teams can manage one set of policies through a single console.
Pros and cons of consolidating security vendors
While saving money could be a result of consolidation, it is not what is driving organisations. Sixty-five per cent of respondents said they expect to improve their overall risk posture and only 29 per cent expect reduced spending on licensing.
Cost optimisation should not be a driver, Gartner vice president analyst John Watts said. Those looking at cutting costs must reduce products, licenses and features, or ultimately renegotiate contracts. A drawback of those pursuing consolidation has been a reduction of risk posture in 24 per cent of cases, rather than an improvement.
The time invested should also not be taken for granted. Gartner found that vendor consolidation can take a long time with nearly two-thirds of organisations saying they have been consolidating for three years.
Another obstacle facing enterprises are rigid vendor deals, an issue faced by 34 per cent of respondents. Gartner advises IT leaders to plan at least two years for consolidation.
What drives enterprises toward SASE and XDR
Those who plan to have adopted SASE within their organisations by the end of 2022 make up 41.5 per cent of respondents, and 50 per cent of respondents use SASE projects to simplify network and security policy management and improve security posture.
Organisations that have plans to adopt XDR by the end of 2022 make up 54.5 per cent of respondents. XDR has already helped 57 per cent of respondents to resolve security threats faster.
“While 89 per cent 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 Dionisio Zumerle, VP analyst at Gartner.
"This is an approach validated by 46 per cent of surveyed organisations, which allows for flexibility to select best-of-breed functionality."