Information technology security spending will apparently keep growing forever, but it's unclear what the returns look like.
The latest data from Canalys shows that the IT security spending market will reach $30.1 billion in 2017 and grow at a 7 percent compound annual growth rate from now until then. In other words, security spending will be twice the global IT spending growth rate based on the 3 percent or so most research firms expect going forward.
For instance, Gartner expects global IT spending to be up a mere 2 percent in 2013 relative to 2012 due to a strong U.S. dollar and up 3.5 percent in constant currency.
No one is suggesting that security spending be pared back. Security requirements aren't going to go away as long as the bad guys are out there. But at some point, a CXO will ask for a smarter security technology spend. There has to be some line between effective security spending and waste. Right?
Canalys noted that security remains a priority for businesses even as they cut back elsewhere. Asia Pacific IT security spending will be up 9 percent in 2013 with North America growing 5 percent. Latin America will spend 15 percent more on security and EMEA up 3 percent.
Meanwhile, medium sized businesses will grow IT security spending a 7 percent clip to hit $8.5 billion in 2017. Here's the breakdown of mid-sized security spending:
The story remains the same throughout the enterprise: You can't cut back on security spending. And if you do it'll be very quietly.