If the current cybersecurity threat landscape were a comic book villain, it’d have the ability to morph and switch forms on a whim.
And in response to this ever-evolving threat to the enterprise, several trends are emerging within cybersecurity, according to BJ Jenkins (pictured), president of Palo Alto Networks Inc. One of them is platform consolidation, as companies look for that sweet spot between best-of-breed solutions and long-term platform value.
Particularly necessitated by current economic uncertainties, organizations feel more risk-averse right now; but they also want to weed out unnecessary capital expenditures by slimming down their security vendor count to more manageable numbers.
“I’m pretty old, and I’ve been through a lot of [economic] cycles,” said BJ Jenkins (pictured), president of Palo Alto Networks Inc. “And in those cycles, I’ve always found stronger companies with stronger value proposition separate themselves in uncertain, economic times. The message has tilted, though, where it’s been about innovation and new threat vectors to one of you have 20, 30, or 40 vendors and you can consolidate to become more effective in your security posture and save money on your total cost of ownership.”
Jenkins spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and Lisa Martin at Ignite ’22, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Palo Alto Networks is reformatting its cybersecurity business in the wake of market changes. (* Disclosure below.)
Streamlining people-focused go-to-market strategy
While the global economy might be in a downturn, with some even foreseeing a recession, tech spending in the corporate world has mostly held strong. It does mean, however, that companies are becoming more frugal with the dollars they’re willing to spend and will channel them only to a handful of proven solutions at a time.
Palo Alto Networks is responding to this trend by hammering home its value proposition to existing and potential customers as part of its GTM approach. In doing so, the company hopes to remain the focal point in many enterprise security strategies even as they trim down vendor counts, according to Jenkins.
“How do you take a customer who’s got 20 or 30 tools and take them down to 5 or 10, where Palo is more central and strategic and be able to demonstrate that value?” he asked. “We do that by making a huge investment in our people. But macroeconomic times also puts some stronger people back on the market, and we’re able to incorporate them into the business.”
A prominent factor spurring that consolidation is the long-bemoaned cybersecurity skills gap, with the (ISC)2 “2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study” showing a workforce gap of 3.4 million people, an increase of 26% over 2021’s numbers. By rejigging its ecosystem strategy, Palo Alto Networks has been able to step in and help company executives tackle the subsequent standardization and consolidation problems for the few skilled people within customer companies, according to Jenkins.
“We needed to get in with the CIO and CISO and say, ‘Look at this chaos you have here and the challenges around people that it’s presenting you. We can help solve that by standardizing, consolidating, and taking that integration away from you, making it easier for your high-skill people to work on high-skill challenges,” he concluded.
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Ignite ’22:
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Ignite ’22. Neither Palo Alto Networks Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)