Is It Really That Easy for MSPs to Consolidate to One Security Vendor?

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Gartner predicted that in three years, “80% of enterprises will have adopted a strategy to unify web, cloud services and private application access from a single vendor’s security service edge (SSE) platform.” It seems like it wasn’t too long ago that the security industry was recommending multiple vendors to safeguard your business. Now the pendulum swings the other way. Fortunately, it’s a healthy sign for the cybersecurity industry. Quick sophistication has developed over the last couple of years, especially during the pandemic, as millions of advanced cyberattacks were identified, diagnosed, and defeated. Cyber intelligence is stronger. Therefore, it’s only natural that security vendors are offering more comprehensive solutions that will align with your business’s security goals. It’s up to you to decide the vendor.

Once Again, MSPs Are Tasked to Do More with Less

Author: Diana Harter,
Author: Diana Harter, audience marketing manager, WatchGuard Technologies

How do you get started determining which ONE vendor will meet all your business needs for security? Fortunately, it’s not as daunting as it may seem. It takes close consideration of what is important to your business now and into the future. You want to evaluate which vendor aligns with your goals. You want a security vendor that grows as you will after all, or even takes your business to a level you aim to achieve. We recommend considering the following three vendor characteristics as you evaluate.

  1. Platform vs. portfolio security solutions. It’s important to distinguish between platform vs portfolio to make smarter decisions for your business. Security vendors fall into one of the two camps. Those in the platform camp will offer high integration among security products and services to achieve a more comprehensive security solution. Vendors with portfolio solutions package their products as customizable for your needs. Keep in mind that customizable does not always mean integrated. Important note: Vendor marketing often will claim they are a platform, so it’s up to you to evaluate if they offer multiple consoles. This is a clear sign of portfolio solutions.
  2. Organizational objectives included in security solutions. An organizational objective could be offering pay-as-you-go alternatives. Vendors who focus their solutions upon technology, business, and organizational objectives should be highly considered. There’s a known global cybersecurity talent shortage, so a vendor who has built their solution to leverage the gap demonstrates they are not only channel-focused but also operationally efficient. Two qualities that are key for an MSP/vendor partnership. 
  3. Legacy silos and inventory. Vendors will approach legacy products differently, so leverage your evaluation to identify common policies and see how a vendor reduces gaps and vulnerabilities in the phaseout of legacy products. Even evaluate partner success stories and case studies to see how a legacy phaseout was handled and what the timing was. You do not want your business’s reputation negatively impacted in the midst of a multi-year phaseout. 

In addition to the three considerations above, it’s important to see which one of all your current vendors is best aligned with what your business will need in the future. To ease this process, we offer this free quiz: How Many Vendors Do You Really Need?

Time to Take a Closer Look at Your Security Vendor Strategy

Consolidating vendors is a proven concept. We took a poll earlier this year and found that of all the ways to increase profit margins this year, over 50% of MSP leaders were consolidating vendors. Leveraging this proven strategy to your advantage needs a tactical approach. Gartner states, “SRM leaders must drive assertive architectural thinking, rather than respond to a buyer- or cost-driven consolidation strategy . . . Leaders who evaluate where they have an operational or security shortfall and push for a consolidation investment will have a higher rate of security success than those driven by the security team.” A tactical approach at the start of your consolidation efforts will save you time and effectiveness in the future.

And, as you narrow it down to the vendor best suited for your business, leverage the consolidation to strengthen your relationship with your chosen security vendor. As you and your customers’ demands evolve with security needs, communicate it with your vendor and see what solutions they can provide. It’s likely they are already developing a solution for you that you can efficiently plan for and roll out to your customers. 

Additionally, the market has evolved and brand recognition is of less value to MSPs. This is a new opportunity to evaluate new security vendors that offer strong security platforms with better programs and features for your business. It’s a great time to opt for a brand that will work with you to give your customers what they need and demand.

One Vendor, One Platform Is Key for Increased Profitability and Efficiency

As you evaluate vendors down to one, we encourage you to strongly consider a vendor with a unified platform. With one vendor and one platform, your business will be more secure because you don’t have to track multiple siloed defenses in case of a breach. There’s only one vendor to communicate with so you can quickly understand the point of vulnerability and efficiency address the issue with your vendor.

One automated and integrated platform that meets your security needs will significantly lower your operational expenses. Not only are you reducing contract expenses, but you’re also reducing staff time needed to learn new systems and solutions. Additionally, you can fortify a stronger negotiation stance with your vendor for volume pricing and other needs to lower overall costs. You are each helping each other to succeed, after all. 

And finally, with one vendor and one platform, your business will be more secure with fewer connectors to track in the case of a breach. That’s also one vendor to communicate with during this stressful time. With fewer points of contact, you can efficiently address the issue and strengthen the vulnerability with your vendor.

More: Stay up to date with the latest cybersecurity news from this and other industries on our WatchGuard Blog

Guest blog courtesy of WatchGuard Technologies. Read more WatchGuard guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.