How to Spend Less on Remote Workforce Security and Cloud-native Endpoint Protection

By Kristian Tuinzing

Director of Client Services, NPI

February 05, 2021

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For a majority of companies, more flexible work from home (WFH) policies are here to stay. A Gartner survey found that 80 percent of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part-time after the pandemic, and 47 percent will allow employees to work from home on a full-time basis. With that, however, comes new remote workforce security implications and requirements – all of which could drive higher security spend especially in areas like cloud-native endpoint protection.

WFH’s increased prevalence among enterprises forces a new look at endpoint protection pricing and presents a new set of challenges for cybersecurity teams. BYOD considerations, remote connections to secure infrastructure, and a slew of other factors means potentially sizable purchases to protect sensitive data and devices. Combined with a rise in the frequency of cyberattacks and security breaches CISOs and their teams are vulnerable to vendors overcharging for these critical protections.

Pricing disparity within the IT security sector has always been a challenge. But NPI’s recent deal experience indicates increased demand is inflating pricing even more for cloud-native endpoint protection solutions offered by popular vendors like CrowdStrike, Carbon Black (now part of VMware), Cylance (now part of BlackBerry), SentinelOne and others.

One of the best tactics for ensuring you pay a fair price is performing IT price benchmark analysis on any purchase or renewal. This will ensure deal pricing is at or better than best in market. Outside of that, there are several checks enterprises can perform to eliminate overspend potential.

Review Specific Feature Sets for Bundled Remote Workforce Security Solutions

One common factor driving customer overspending on remote workforce security is rampant bundling of feature sets by vendors. As cloud-native endpoint protection has taken hold, many clients are discovering at renewal time that the specific product bundles they had previously purchased have changed entirely.

NPI suggests reviewing products at a feature level to determine how bundles have changed as well as to assess whether or not new products have any redundancies with other solutions in the security stack. Top vendors are working diligently to cram more into the core bundles, but they can be challenged on price if certain parts will go unused.

Check Deployment Plans and Forecast Accuracies

Vendors push enterprises to buy solutions from the onset even if plans don’t call for them to be deployed immediately during a given term. A staggered deployment could be the best solution if this is a concern.

One benefit from cloud-native endpoint protection is less cost risk due to shelfware. However, with fluctuations in headcounts an unfortunate reality, NPI suggests periodically checking usage counts to make sure subscriptions aren’t carried forward if unneeded.

Involve Competition

NPI finds competition an important element in optimizing the economics of every transaction and an especially crucial one in remote workforce security deals. Only rarely does NPI see different vendor solutions pieced together to cover different feature sets as most customers prefer a single vendor. That’s understandable, but it’s not always wise as this fosters vendor lock-in which ultimately gives the vendor more leverage.

Customers would be smart to take advantage of the rapid consolidation occurring in the IT security industry. Over the last few years, some of the larger OEMs have acquired many of the top contenders in cloud-native endpoint protection.  This means it may be easier to get a truly competitive offer from vendors like VMware, BlackBerry, McAfee, and other big names that may already be in place within the IT environment.

Remember – remote workforce security solutions are in high demand. That means IT buyers need a strategy for mitigating any increase in vendor-side leverage during price negotiations. If you want to know whether the deal you’re being offered is the best the vendor can do, NPI can help.