Information Technology (IT) services in India are evolving thanks to the digital transformation driven by technologies such as Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and now Internet of Things (IoT). The rapid transition of IT from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) points to the near possibilities of Everything-as-a-Service. As the market for managed IT services continues to swell, challenges associated with data governance and security also grow in proportion. With data integrity becoming the priority for organisations in 2017, managed IT services landscape in India will largely evolve around data security and governance.
India: The big market for Managed IT
India is emerging as the hub of managed IT services. The growth is visible from the bulk orders processed by large global firms doing businesses in India. The flourishing small and medium business (SMB) sector in India is another major contributor to managed IT sector. The flexibility, convenience and cost efficiency are the major factors driving managed services adoption among SMBs. However, as enterprise networks grow complex thanks to the surge in data volume, organisations are increasingly focusing on network security.
Network security: To what extent
Network security as a managed service is one of the major milestones in the industry’s transition towards an Everything-as-a-Service model. With network acting as the central nervous system of a business, managing the network involves a series of complex tasks including but not limited to monitoring unauthorised access, misuse, modification and denial of network resources. Therefore, the scope of managed IT services will only grow further to address these critical requirements.
Security threat points: BYOD and more
In this era of mobility and social media, security is no child’s play. As myriad of devices with diverse makes and huge number of apps enter the enterprise network, a single ‘guard’ at the entry gate will not be sufficient to combat the threats. You need the watchdog at every critical juncture that is susceptible to security risks. This leads to the conclusion that network security service is not limited to a single firewall; rather it should comprise an end-to-end package that proactively safeguards your network from all likely threats.
Opportunity for Security-as-a-Service
Enterprise security spending in India is estimated to touch $1.12 billion in 2016, up 10.6 percent from $1.01 billion in 2015, according to Gartner. Advanced threat defense, application security, security policy and programme development and governance, risk and compliance (GRC), identity governance and administration, mobile and cloud security governance and incident response network are the major security considerations among CIOs. The drastic transformation of network around digital is also deeply influencing CIOs’ decision making around security.
UTM: the coming-of-age network story
Network transformation in today’s enterprises aims at boosting productivity. This, in turn, is achieved by efficient use of computing, storage and data resources flowing across the network. Thus, network availability and agility become a key consideration while choosing the infrastructure services. Services such as Unified Threat Management (UTM) gain relevance in this context.
UTM is an advanced Firewall capable of integrating a bouquet of security services including but not limited to network firewalling, network intrusion prevention and gateway antivirus (AV), gateway anti-spam, VPN, content filtering, load balancing, data leak prevention and on-appliance reporting. In India, the market for UTM is huge, with SMBs driving a major share of this business. With UTM, SMBs can protect their resources against sophisticated attacks and ensure business continuity. The managed services model also reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO). With 24×7 support, businesses are relieved from the network management worries, so they can focus on their core business.
Network management moving from reactive to proactive mode
Traditionally, data protection technologies focused on identifying a threat as it happens and fixing it before it affects the network. Today, network technologies are evolving to proactively address the evolving threats – which they have not encountered before. Technologies like Network Access Control (NAC) score high in this regard as they control access to the network through a set of rules and policies. In fact, the NAC governs the network accessibility of each user based on the role assigned to him. It also checks the endpoint device for any vulnerability. As enterprise mobility catches up momentum in India, network technologies like NAC will gain traction among SMBs as well as larger organisations.
With its dominance in the IT services sector, India is also quick at adopting the latest technology trends in IT. In line with the digital transformation happening in organisations, the IT managed services market in India will evolve around network security and network management.