Spotlight on Network Security Overspending: Check Point

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Gregg Spivack of  NPI, a spend management consultancy focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom, and shipping.

The only thing harder than getting to the top is staying there. That’s certainly the case with today’s biggest network security vendors, many of which are facing new competition from a crop of smaller, more agile vendors. Take Check Point Software Technologies, for example. Since pioneering the firewall industry in 1993, its broad suite of network security solutions are now installed in 100 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Check Point is under greater pressure than ever before to maintain its market leadership, both in terms of customer installations and as a publicly traded company. This has contributed to a pricing and licensing strategy that presents ample opportunities for overspending, including: 

  • High maintenance, support, and renewal costs. Check Point is renowned for high maintenance and support costs. In NPI’s experience working with Check Point customers, the initial purchase price may seem reasonable, but the cost to keep the solution(s) up and running can be surprising. 
  • Feature-by-feature licensing and licensing complexity. Like many vendors, Check Point’s licensing programs have grown increasingly complex, often requiring a separate license purchase for certain features. This adds to the complexity of network security cost management and minimizes spend visibility.
  • Solution entrenchment. Check Point’s solutions are deeply embedded into its customers’ IT infrastructure – and that means the cost and resources required to switch to another vendor solution can be alarmingly high. It also gives Check Point added leverage in their pricing and contract terms.

If these overspending pitfalls seem familiar, they are. Virtually every IT vendor today is relying more heavily on increased support/maintenance costs, licensing complexity, and client/vendor lock-in to assuage market pressures. Understanding and mitigating this vendor behavior will be critical to keeping IT infrastructure costs in line in 2014 and allowing IT departments to innovate rather than simply “keep the lights on.”

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