IT Buyers are looking for security solutions in 2018

What do buyers want? It’s the question that should guide every successful IT provider, whether you’re a major vendor or a small channel partner.

The more than 2.5 million IT buyers who receive our monthly marketing campaigns help us answer that question. We see what content they’re clicking on and what types of products they’re buying after interacting with our campaigns.

We seek additional insights by surveying thousands of channel partners that participate in our automated marketing program, asking them about what they’re hearing from buyers. Finally, we regularly survey those involved in IT purchases for businesses large and small.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our most recent survey data show that security is by far the area of greatest interest and concern for IT buyers. Here are some key data points to keep in mind if you’re trying to figure out how to better-serve your existing customers and acquire new ones.

Security: the hottest topic amongst buyers

Over the past year, buyers who received marketing campaigns from those channel partners who participate in our automated marketing program were far more likely to click on thought leadership content related to security than any other subject.

Our data show that 42 percent of all clicks on thought leadership content were security-focused, well ahead of content related to device upgrades, which came in second place at 25 percent. In third place was content related to business productivity software (17 percent), the latest networking technologies (9 percent) and migrating to the cloud (6 percent).

Security is what people are buying

Our survey of North American IT buyers found that security is the most common area of software investment. Thirty-two percent of those who make or influence IT purchasing decisions for U.S. companies reported buying software related to security, putting it just ahead of operating systems (30 percent). Other top areas of investment include backup (27 percent), productivity (25 percent) and database (24 percent). CRM and virtualization lag far behind, at 14 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Ransomware is top of mind

Asked in a recent survey what types of solutions their customers are most interested in, channel partners cited ransomware more than every topic except cloud. Other commonly-cited areas of interest were servers and storage.

The spike in interest for ransomware coincides with a public awakening to the threat of cyber criminals holding major corporate or government systems hostage. The awareness spiked in May, 2017 in the wake of the “WannaCry” Ransomware attack, which affected scores of companies and government services, including FedEX, Honda and the U.K. National Health Service. Among the victims was pharmaceutical giant Merck, which reportedly lost $300 million in the third quarter of 2017 due to a devastating ransomware attack.

Question for Vendors and Partners:

What have you been hearing from buyers about security products? Have the tenor and nature of their concerns changed recently as a result of the scary headlines surrounding the issue? How have you addressed the increased interest in your sales and marketing efforts?

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