Saturday, February 3, 2007

Managing IT Budgeting Decisions

Very few organizations are able to fund "the perfect IT security budget."

The majority of IT purchasers usually end up having to make some pretty tough choices - on one hand they need to satisfy all mandatory requirements, but they also need to ensure performance levels don't dip, and there are enough brands on display to satisfy non-IT guys that the IT organization is making sound choices. It's a tough, and often frustrating challenge.

We recently did a survey of our customer base and found that the top choice in the category of end point security remains "antivirus", but antispyware is catching up fast. Also high on the list were client VPN technologies, URL filtering, and image restore technologies. SSO, tokens, etc rounded out the list.

The buyers I know would love to be able to approach a single vendor with a purchase order for all of these technologies, however many branded solutions fall down in at least one or more areas of performance, putting the buyer into the situation of requiring at least two, and possibly more vendors, in order to get the mix of brands, performance and price that they require.

Of course you already know where I'm going with this - our ESP Enterprise end point security procurement and management platform includes a built-in multi-vendor store that enables IT buyers to "mix and match" software choices and make choices in each category based on brand, performance and price. These choices are guaranteed to be conflict-free, which frees buyers from the hassle of having to QA their choices prior to deployment.

A couple of years back, when we were just launching our ESP (Extensible Service Platform) solution, I went up to pitch for a large customer account (that we later won), and found a very gloomy bunch of people waiting for my pitch. It turned out no other vendors had offered them any choices, and this had negated the research they had spent months doing.

Thanks to ESP, we left the room with the deal, because we were able to enable each of their choices and allow them to manage their chosen combination of brands and great-performing, best-of-breed technologies using the ESP unified management infrastructure.

No comments: