Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

The Increasing Trend of Consolidation in the IT and Cybersecurity World

Cybersecurity
(Credit: Stu Gray / Alamy Stock Photo)

In recent years, the world of IT and Cybersecurity has seen a notable trend toward consolidation. Naturally, most people point to shrinking budgets as the driver behind this. After all, a new report from IANS Research and Artico Search found that cybersecurity spending experienced a 65% drop in growth during the 2022-23 budget cycle.

But the reality is that other factors are at play. The consolidation is a phenomenon that encompasses micro-level initiatives driven by the Chief Information Office (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) seeking simplicity and efficiency. In addition, the macro-level effects are spurred by challenges in obtaining venture capital funding.

Let's look into some of the reasons behind this consolidation wave and examine the impacts these factors are having on the IT and cybersecurity landscape.

Micro-Level Consolidation

Within organizations, CIOs play a critical role in ensuring data security and managing IT infrastructure. However, as technology ecosystems continue to expand and diversify, CIOs face the daunting task of navigating a labyrinth of software solutions. This has started to lead many CIOs to seek consolidation of products and services. The primary aim is to simplify operations, streamline workflows, and ultimately enhance overall efficiency. By reducing the number of vendors and tools in use, CIOs can achieve better integration, improved visibility, increased resilience and redundancy, and, most importantly, increased user experience.

For example, the CIO may opt for an integrated collaboration tool suite instead of multiple disparate applications. There are multiple benefits to this approach. First off, it not only simplifies the user experience but also improves operational efficiency by reducing the need for training, support, and maintenance of multiple systems. In addition, consolidating infrastructure components, such as servers and storage, can ultimately lead to better resource utilization, cost savings, and easier scalability.

And the CIO is not alone on this journey. As I mentioned at the top, the CISO is also on a consolidation journey. CISOs have the daunting task of navigating a labyrinth of security solutions. These leaders understand that managing multiple security tools from various vendors can create complexities while also increasing the risk of security gaps that outsiders will ultimately find and then exploit. It's true to say that consolidation has always been part of CISO's objectives, but over the last five years, it has moved up the priority list from outside the top five to inside the top three.

Consequently, they are increasingly opting to eliminate clutter in favor of a more unified security platform. Specifically, they are looking for those that can provide comprehensive coverage across multiple fronts, such as threat intelligence, endpoint protection, and network security. By consolidating security solutions, they can streamline their security operations, reduce costs, and bolster their overall security posture.

Macro-Level Consolidation: Overcoming Funding Challenges

In addition to the storylines of CIOs and CISOs, the consolidation trend is also happening at a macro level in the IT and cybersecurity industry. Here, the consolidation is being influenced by the challenges companies are facing when it comes to obtaining venture capital (VC) funding.

While the technology sector has traditionally been an attractive target for venture capitalists, recent market shifts have made securing funding more challenging. As a result, companies are exploring consolidation as a strategic move to demonstrate stability, improve financial metrics, and attract potential investors. We have seen many significant mergers and acquisitions over the last few years, and this trend is likely to continue.

In this highly competitive landscape, investors are starting to seek companies with solid foundations and proven track records. This creates an opportunity for organizations to showcase stability and resilience by consolidating operations, eliminating redundancies, and optimizing processes. By streamlining their portfolios and presenting a cohesive business strategy, companies can enhance their attractiveness to investors and increase their chances of securing funding.

Consolidation can also positively impact a company's financial metrics. By streamlining products and services, organizations can reduce the costs associated with licensing, maintenance, and support. Furthermore, consolidation enables better resource allocation and utilization, which, at the end of the day, results in increased operational efficiency. These financial improvements, coupled with a more streamlined business model, can make companies more financially attractive to venture capitalists.

To conclude, consolidation in the IT industry should not always be seen as a bad thing. The reality for many businesses is that It very often fosters collaborative innovation. When companies consolidate, they bring together their expertise, talent, and resources to create an environment that is conducive to cross-pollination of ideas. This collaboration often leads to the development of innovative solutions and the ability to address complex challenges more effectively. Consolidation also encourages the sharing of best practices, leveraging synergies, and ultimately drives advancements in technology and business practices.

Jaye Tillson is Field CTO at Axis Security

Related articles: