Buyers rate tech support above reputation

Buyers rate tech support above reputation

When purchasing security products, Australian IT managers take little notice of a vendor's reputation, according to new research.

Reliable products and good technical support rated as the most important and influencing factor in the vendor selection process.

Product quality and price shape purchasing decisions over and above any vendor sweeteners that are used to win sales.

The findings are part of the first Australian Information Security Satisfaction Monitor compiled by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

Respondents to the research, which covered some 270 local IT professionals, found reliability and service rated well above licensing simplicity, product range and vendor reputation when it came to purchasing IT security products.

The survey asked IT managers to rate satisfaction levels and spending intentions with nine security technologies including antispam, antispyware, antivirus, firewall, intrusion prevention systems, patch management and security information management. It also asked which factors are most important when dealing with security vendors.

James Turner, security and services analyst with Frost & Sullivan, said the most fascinating aspect about the survey result is that IT managers want reliability and responsive technical support over and above price.

"It is more important to an IT manager to buy a reliable product with good technical support than it is to buy from a vendor with a good reputation," Turner said.

"IT managers consider it more important to buy a good product at a cheap price than to buy from a company with an amazingly wide product range, throws in half their tools for free."

Respondents were also asked to rate their favourite products. Interestingly, IT managers ranked the free antispyware tool Spybot as the top product even compared to purchased software.

Respondents rated Cisco best in terms of reliability of services and product while Trend Micro won for a high level of responsiveness for technical support, timeliness of patches, updates and price. IBM was nominated for the reporting capabilities of products.

While uptake of managed services providers in Australia has been slow, respondents were asked about their intentions to use such services.

An estimated 41 percent currently use a managed security service with a mere 9 percent looking to outsource security over the next 12 months.

Of those currently outsourcing security, respondents ranked their satisfaction level at 74 out of a possible 100 points.

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