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Why FireEye’s Focus on SaaS Space Is Good News

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Feb. 3 2017, Updated 7:36 a.m. ET

SaaS is the most highly deployed global cloud service

FireEye (FEYE), a leading name in cybersecurity, is making a rapid transition toward the cloud, which means that its subscription offerings could dominate its future billings. FireEye expects its subscriptions and SaaS (software-as-a-service) offerings to comprise 75% of its overall billings by 2020. SaaS is expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the cloud space.

According to Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) Global Cloud Index, SaaS (software-as-a-service) workloads are expected to have the largest share. They are expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 30% and to have 74% of cloud workloads by 2020.
fireeye platform

According to Barrons blog, Morgan Stanley (MS) analyst Keith Weiss stated: “Within applications, the focus of enterprises and CIOs today is the front office, and in particular front office SaaS-based applications.”

FireEye’s focus on the SaaS space has thus generated hope among investors. The rapid growth in SaaS has also attracted Microsoft (MSFT), Salesforce (CRM), and Oracle (ORCL) to SaaS and CRM (customer relationship management), a rapidly growing sub-segment in the overall SaaS space.

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Analysts on FireEye’s transition

Some industry analysts are wary about FireEye’s changing business model. Rob Owens, an analyst for Pacific Crest, believes there’s a “lack of visibility in the model” as FireEye’s business model is changing.

However, Andrew Nowinski, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, seems positive about FireEye’s guidance and endeavors. In a research report, Nowinsky noted: “We believe FireEye can successfully transition to [an SaaS] model…We believe FireEye is well-positioned to execute this transition due to the company’s best-in-class intelligence gathering capabilities. No other vendor can capture a complete intelligence package like FireEye, since they lack the Mandiant and iSight capabilities.”

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