More Small Companies Embrace IT Security Outsourcing

August, 2016

Nearly 60% of IT departments are increasing the amount of IT security that they plan to outsource, and IT security outsourcing is becoming more attractive to small and midsize organizations.

Those are two of the major findings in our full study, IT Security Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience. What is driving these changes in IT security outsourcing? One aspect is that organizations are moving away from mere perimeter security to monitoring and risk-mitigation. This requires new skills that are harder to find. At the same time, new challenges seem to appear every day, including sophisticated cyberattacks from foreign sources, a mobile workforce, and the use of cloud-based applications and resources.

As shown in Figure 4 from the study, none of the organizations that we surveyed are cutting back on outsourcing IT security, while a solid 59% are increasing it. The trend toward increasing use of security service providers shows no let up.

IT Sec Out Fig 4 - More Small Companies Embrace IT Security Outsourcing

“Fifty-nine percent of organizations plan to increase the outsourcing of security – that’s a significant number,” said Tom Dunlap, director of research for Computer Economics, Irvine, Calif. “It tells me that companies are taking the new security threats seriously, while at the same time, many are going outside the company for the kinds of IT security skills that can be hard to find in-house.”

The study also shows that, although organizations do not appear to save a great deal of money by outsourcing their security tasks, service levels are higher. Many organizations have taken a measured but consistent approach to outsourcing their security needs.

This report is based on data contained in our recently released major study, Computer Economics IT Outsourcing Statistics 2016/2017, which compares the outsourcing of 10 IT functions on six metrics: frequency and level, net trend and volatility, and cost and service success. We use these six metrics to define outsourcing activity and customer experience. The 10 IT functions studied are: application development, application hosting, application maintenance, data center operations, database administration, desktop support, disaster recovery services, help desk services, IT security, network operations, and web operations.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, IT Security Outsourcing Trends and Customer Experience. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).