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Can IBM Turn the Tide on Cisco in This $202 Billion Industry?

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IBM pursues security spending with Watson

In pursuit of revenue growth, IBM (IBM) has shown that its cognitive computing technology, Watson, can be leveraged in virtually any field. Watson has already been harnessed to help in the fight against cancer, to offer customer support in the online retail space, and to help with tax filing.

The list of what Watson can do continues to grow. In a recent move, IBM made Watson available to help tackle cybersecurity problems with the launch of Watson for Cyber Security. With Watson for Cyber Security, cybersecurity specialists can bring more intelligence into security surveillance to tighten network and data protection.

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A $200 billion industry

The market for cybersecurity was an estimated $122.5 billion in 2016, and it’s projected to rise to $202.4 billion by 2021, according to researcher MarketsandMarkets. The chart above shows cybersecurity market projections.

Cloud computing drives demand for data protection

As more organizations embrace cloud computing, they’ve found that they need to tighten the protection of their data and networks, and this need is driving demand for cybersecurity services. IBM is hoping that Watson for Cyber Security will see widespread adoption by large corporations and universities, helping it to drive revenue growth. Security is one of IBM’s newer businesses, which it fondly refers to as its Strategic Imperatives business—one whose revenue rose 11% in 4Q16.

Cybersecurity is a highly competitive field. IBM will need to outsmart the likes of Cisco (CSCO), Symantec (SYMC), Check Point Software (CHKP), and FireEye (FEYE) in order grow its market share and take advantage of the more than $200 billion in cybersecurity spending expected by 2021.

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