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Coronavirus dims tech outlook 2020, spurs free security offers

Forrester has dropped tech growth projections for numerous sectors including consulting. Meanwhile, some security vendors are targeting MSPs with free product licenses.

Technology consulting and systems integration spending will flatten in a temporary, coronavirus-driven economic slowdown and could drop 5% if customers dramatically reduce their new-project spending.

Forrester, a market research firm based in Cambridge, Mass., made those predictions yesterday, as it downgraded its 2020 tech market forecast. The company projected overall tech spending in the U.S. and global market to slow to around 2% growth in 2020, versus the 3% growth the company had cited earlier this year.

In a tech outlook 2020 blog post, Andrew Bartels, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, said the 2% increase for 2020 represents the best case scenario: "That assumes the U.S. and other major economies have declined in the first half of 2020, but manage to recover in the second half. There is also a 50% probability that U.S. and global tech markets will decline by 2% or more in 2020 if a full-fledged recession hits."

Tech outsourcing and telecom services could prove a mixed bag. Bartels said those areas "will hold up better" than other tech sectors, but noted contract revisions could, nevertheless, lead to reduced spending.

On the plus side, Forrester anticipates growing customer demand for cloud infrastructure services and a potential spending increase for specialized technology and services around remote work and education. Channel companies are already seeing rising demand for remote work technology, from VPNs to cloud-based collaboration tools.

Trustifi offers free email security trial, targets MSPs

Trustifi, a SaaS email security company based in Las Vegas, is providing 90-day trial licenses of its email encryption products for free, an offer managed service providers (MSPs) can extend to their end clients.

The no-cost licenses are geared toward companies with 50 or more employees. MSPs can work with Trustifi distributors such as Ingram Micro to obtain the licenses, which they then can use in-house or pass on to their clients. The goal is to boost the security of home-based workers in light of the new coronavirus and associated social distancing policies.

Idan Udi Edry, CEO at Trustifi, said hackers will look for any way to "make money out of the situation," creating viruses, phishing campaigns and targeting employees -- including senior-level staff members -- working at home. He said large organizations are looking to implement offerings that provide protection from the network level to the email platform and communications level.

If employees work from home, don't create another crisis because you are already in a crisis.
Idan Udi EdryCEO, Trustifi

Edry advised customers to secure employees and infrastructure as they make the shift to remote work. "If employees work from home, don't create another crisis because you are already in a crisis," he said.

Trustifi will reassess conditions after the 90-day period to determine whether to extend the free licensing for an additional time or switch to subscription-based services. "We will reconsider how we are going to move forward," Edry noted.

Axcient drops licensing fees to help MSP customers go remote

Axcient, a Denver company specializing in business availability and cloud security offerings, said it is offering licenses for its Anchor file sync product for free for new users. The initiative, available through June 2020, will help MSPs "transition their clients' businesses into a remote workforce," according to a company statement.

Remote workers, the company said, can securely access Anchor through desktops, laptops or mobile applications, without having to use VPNs. Axcient targets the MSP market with its products.

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