IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

IBM Security Systems Division Offers Enterprise-wide Solutions but Overlooks Embedded

Last week, VDC attended IBM’s annual Software Analyst Connect Meeting, which offered us the opportunity to attend a number of presentations, meetings and briefings with various IBM executives and product managers. 

As opposed to our normal research coverage, which largely focuses on the (embedded) software/system development space and thus IBM’s Rational Software division, this conference featured products and brands from across IBM’s Software Group (WebSphere, Tivoli, etc.) for which there seems to be a growing effort to foster cross-selling opportunities.

One of the more interesting centerpieces of discussion at the conference was the consolidation of IBM’s security solutions into a new division – aptly named the Security Systems Division. The realignment of the company’s security solutions into the new business unit was largely catalyzed by their recent acquisition of Q1 Labs. 

It is not necessarily a new or novel notion to suggest that development organizations should embrace a wide range of security solutions to best limit the potential threat or impact of intrusions. IBM’s move certainly caters to this growing need, but we believe it also speaks to the complexity inherent in IBM FAEs trying to sell these products in addition to those from their respective parent brands – especially when there can often be separate security-focused stakeholders in place within enterprise/IT organizations.

But what about the embedded market?

Clearly IBM’s security portfolio focuses on the enterprise, but embedded devices and systems are being exposed in increasing frequency as well. After IBM’s 2009 acquisition of security static analysis solution company Ounce Labs and their recent, refound focus on the embedded market within Rational, we had thought they might begin to address this market need as well. Well not yet at least - Although the realignment of Ounce out of Rational might defuse this potential strategy in the near term, IBM did acknowledge that enhanced security solutions for embedded targets were on its roadmap.

Regardless of whether or not IBM ultimately does target the embedded market with its security solutions, their strategy of aligning a broad set of potential security solutions within one portfolio certainly resonates with the growing need for attention to be given to security across the embedded development and deployment cycle.


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