US security software support services spending set to soar

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Fuelled by a fast growing threat from phishers, spammers, hackers and organized criminals, the need for security software continues to intensify in the United States.

The demand to support this increased security is growing correspondingly, as spending in the US for security software support services climbs from $551 million in 2003 to $808 million in 2008, a newly published study from IDC has predicted.

According to the research, support is critical to the overall success of the security software supplier. Not only were support services found to be an important differentiator for vendors, when implemented correctly they can help solidify long-term customer loyalty.

"Some organizations have not perceived support services as strategic and, therefore, don't understand the inherent value of quality support to the business and the customers," said Christine Tenneson, program manager of IDC's Software and Hardware Support Services research.

"Those that understand the role of support view it as a competitive advantage with sustainable margins and profitability supplementing the bottom-line."

Unlike other parts of the infrastructure, such as servers and storage, most IT departments don't have the necessary resources to properly run and maintain security systems, the analyst firm noted.

Consequently customers of these security solutions were found to rely heavily on their providers to bridge this gap. This dynamic strongly increases the demand for support services, IDC said.

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