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Why Best of Breed May Not Be Best

It’s no secret that many organizations rely on numerous tools to manage technology operations and security. Purchased over the years to solve the hottest new problem, these tools combine to form layers of often-overlapping capabilities.

Of course, the enterprise software industry continues to capitalize on this trend and drives the best-of-breed buying agenda. With $93 billion spent on cybersecurity alone in 2018, it’s no wonder that the RSA show floor has become a circus. If one “best” tool is good, then additional layers of “best” must be even better. Right?

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Photo Credit: RSA® Conference US 2018. All rights reserved.

Not necessarily. A new study commissioned by Tanium and conducted by Forrester shows some surprising insights: layering best-of-breed point tools might not mean best-of-breed results.

The study reveals that layers of fragmented security and management solutions produce additional complexity in already complex business technology environments. Confusion emerges about which tool, or team, holds the most accurate version of the truth. Response teams organize over a patchwork of parts, rather than march together quickly in formation. When it comes to recovering from disruption, technology complexity is the enemy.

And the Survey Says…

55 percent of respondents say they have 20 or more tools between security and operations

Beyond the sheer number of tools, the survey found that 38 percent of the survey respondents said these tools came from 10 or more vendors. Every additional, individual tool carries with it infrastructure requirements and specific operational skills that drain resources. But is this a problem? We’ve got to be best-of-breed, right?

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70 percent of firms say their security and operations tools lack full integration

Perhaps in a perfect world, each tool would fully integrate with every other, and each tool would draw from a consistent view of the systems under management. Workflow would be seamless. We do not live in utopia, however, and the study shows that few are able to realize full integration across the technology stack. Additionally, workflow between tools is often considered challenging by 71 percent of respondents. Given the dynamic nature of networks, systems, and applications, it could also be argued that true integration may not even be possible with databases that are full of stale data. That strategy of layering best-of-breed is at least now starting to look a little suspicious.

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74 percent of survey respondents agree that the number of endpoint solutions they have limit the effectiveness of their security and operations teams.

More is better. This old saying might be true of many things in life. Of survey participants, it seems overwhelming that there exists at least some (and potentially a lot of) pain around the need to use multiple tools. Integration challenges, inconsistent versions of the truth, additional system overhead–there are potentially many drivers here. Therefore, more definitely doesn’t seem like better for cybersecurity and operations tools. Maybe best-of-breed is not what we thought it was.

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Conclusion: Best-of-breed buying brings burdensome bloat (say that five times fast).

Beyond the inefficiency illuminated in the study, the disconnects created across the organization by fragmented tools mean that the business and its expected outcomes are vulnerable to technology-induced disruption. When disruption occurs, the teams responsible to work together quickly through a challenging situation are facing a steeper uphill battle because of the numerous distinct tools they individually depend upon.

Tanium has proven to be a transformational force for IT security and operations teams across many functions. By combining capabilities into a single architecture and source of truth, Tanium eliminates fragmentation in the environment, and obliterates the limitations on scale faced by other tools. Tanium is integrated by design to give teams a complete and unified view that enables optimal workflow between groups.

Download the study for more detail on these points and additional insights.

See Tanium in action in our weekly demo webinar.

Source: Quantifying The Point Solution Nightmare, a May 2018 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tanium.

About the author: Erik Kristiansen leads product marketing at Tanium. Erik is responsible for bringing new products to market as well as many aspects of go-to-market strategy and execution. Prior to Tanium, Erik worked in a variety of technology product management, marketing, business development, and strategy roles.

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