Security software spending will reach a worldwide total of $16.5bn (£10.6bn) this year as the industry pulls further clear of recession, according to a new report from Gartner.
The figure represents growth of about 11 per cent against the same time last year, when spending on security software added up to just under $15bn (£9.6bn).
Gartner said in its latest Forecast Analysis that in most cases the economic slowdown had caused a fall in investment, but that enterprises are keen to keep security technology current and will invest as a result.
"Most segments of the security software market will continue to grow over the next few years, although a significant degree of variation is expected between the more established and less mature technologies," said Ruggero Contu, a principal research analyst at Gartner.
"Overall, security will remain one of the fastest growing areas within the enterprise software market."
Enterprises have a wide range of solutions to choose from in 2010, the analyst explained, adding that this was different to the last slowdown between 2001 and 2002.
Market conditions have been "radically" altered, particularly in terms of market penetration, confidence in IT and maturity, all factors that point to a return to spending.
"Security software vendors that have a balanced mix of channel, new licence and maintenance revenue streams, and flexibility in contractual terms, such as software-as-a-service, open source and outsourcing, have the strongest options for continued growth and to even out the risk," said Contu.
"Shrinking discretionary spending budgets have heightened competition for new maintenance and licence revenue streams, and placed a renewed emphasis on vendor performance and viability."
Consumers will spend the most on security software, achieving revenues of $4.2bn (£2.7bn) in 2010, a smallish rise against the $3.9bn (£2.5bn) in 2009.
Enterprises looking to shore up endpoints will spend the second most, rising from $2.9bn (£1.86bn) in 2009 to $3bn (£1.92bn) in 2010.
Software-as-a-service and compliance will be important purchases, which Gartner said will overtake spending on traditional systems as enterprises struggle to cope with emerging malware and an ever changing threat landscape.
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