Business Software Versus Cybersecurity Software
Sponsored by Mastercard, Aite-Novarica Group interviewed 1,560 owners and operators of micro, small, and midsize enterprises (MSMEs) across 24 countries from November to December 2022 to understand their buying habits toward cybersecurity products and services. One of the insights we wanted to glean was the level of importance MSMEs placed on their business software investments compared to their cybersecurity software investments.
MSMEs are constantly attempting to balance investments in software to run a business versus cybersecurity software to protect that business. Not surprisingly, MSMEs prioritize growing the business above all else. Although they realize it is important, cybersecurity is viewed as an expense, not an investment. Business software investments win out by 154 points.
The figure below poignantly shows how MSMEs value business software over cybersecurity software.
Winning the Hearts and Minds of MSMEs
Winning the hearts and minds of MSMEs begins with borrowing interest from the momentum of business software. MSMEs are likelier to listen to pitches that articulate the integration of cybersecurity software with business software—for example, presenting the case where fraud detection through bad bot prevention in social media channels would resonate more than promoting a stand-alone fraud prevention solution.
Many natural partnerships exist; however, monetizing the partnership for a win-win is difficult. Aite-Novarica Group’s research revealed that 76% of MSMEs desired a bundled solution, preferring to deal with a single source for acquiring software.
More work is required to raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity software within the MSME market. Bundling opportunities are presented where vendors can leverage the strength of a business solution to promote a cybersecurity solution. For example, email collaboration software can be bundled with phishing protection.
To learn more about the buying habits of MSMEs, check out Aite-Novarica Group’s recent report, Global Cybersecurity Buying Habits: Micro, Small, and Midsize Enterprises.