Why big data and data centers are expected to boost Symantec

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SMAC is changing the IT environment

Social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (or SMAC) is radically changing the IT environment. PC shipments are declining at a rapid pace, as consumers have shifted preference towards smartphones and tablets due to their fast and flexible characteristics. According to Gartner, PC shipments in 2013 declined by 12.3% to 299 million shipments, compared to 341 million in 2012.

The First Trust NASDAQ Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY), the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares ETF (KNOW), and the Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Technology ETF (RYT) are exchange-traded funds (or ETFs) that have significant exposure to Symantec.

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The previous charts show the expected growth of and global spending on the virtual security appliance market. According to Infonetics Research, the global data center and virtual security appliance market are expected to be worth $4.4 billion by 2016. Global spending on virtual security appliances is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2015.

Focus on storage management software

To offset weakness in consumer product revenues, Symantec has focused on launching and expanding solutions under its storage management software division.

Cloud and big data spur the need for data centers

Faster adoption of software-as-a-service that ranges from digital marketing tools to enterprise resource planning solutions, technology innovations, and exponential growth in data have led to expanded storage requirements and more data centers. Increase in data centers and the increased proliferation of data and business into personal devices have led to an increase in cyber attacks, necessitating the need for security tools and appliances. To enhance its footprint in the security division, Symantec integrated with network security appliance makers—Check Point Software Technologies, Palo Alto Networks, and Sourcefire—acquired by Cisco Systems (CSCO) to enhance advanced threat detection and incident responses.

New releases and integrations

In backup and storage management, Symantec launched Enterprise Vault and Backup Exec 2014 in 2014. Symantec integrated with Microsoft Azure (MSFT) to offer disaster recovery as a service. The company plans to launch new offerings across Business Continuity for data centers, Information Fabric for data analysis and protection in the cloud, and Object Storage Platform.

Partnership with Splunk

In March 2014, Symantec partnered with Splunk (SPLK), a big data security intelligence platform provider for real-time operational intelligence, to boost its security intelligence operations. Gartner expects that by 2016, more than 25% of global firms are likely to adopt big data analytics for security and fraud detection, which currently stands at 8%.

Symantec is strategically investing in backup, storage management, and security as evident by partnerships with security appliance makers and new product launches. It’s to be seen if its investments will pay off or not.

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