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April 30, 2008

Big Four named as leaders in security consulting

Big Four named as leaders in security consulting

The Big Four have been named as leaders in the global security consulting services market, in a report from research company Forrester entitled The Forrester Wave: Security Consulting Services, Q3 2007.

Forrester evaluated ten leading security consulting service providers across 80 criteria. PricewaterhouseCoopers Global (PwC) and Deloitte Global came out on top due to “their breadth of current offerings and their focus on future growth areas”.

KPMG International fell into third place due to its “rich current offering and solid strategy for growth”. Ernst & Young Global (E&Y) and IBM were next in line, reportedly with “good market presence and an established client base but [a lack of] the breadth of offerings of [PwC and Deloitte]”.

The other companies evaluated were IT infrastructure companies Accenture and Wipro, network service providers BT and Verizon Business, and security product and service vendor VeriSign. The ten companies were selected on the basis that they offer security implementation services as well as security strategy services, they have at least $25 million in security consulting revenue, they have at least 50 clients with revenues of more than $1 billion and they have performed at least 200 engagements in the previous calendar year and more than 500 engagements in the past three years.

The evaluation criteria looked at the ten companies’ current offerings such as value proposition, client and account management, geographic footprint and global capabilities; strategy such as future vision, integration with other service offerings and growth plans; and market presence such as client base and engagements, staff dedicated to security and partnership strength.

Forrester reported that PwC and Deloitte had a “formidable lead” in all evaluation criteria, coming out on top for each of the three categories. PwC was found to have the best balance between strategy services and design and implementation services. It also received the highest marks for client and account management.

Deloitte was found to lead the industry in current offering and market presence, although its market strategy trailed PwC. Deloitte also had the largest pool of security consultants in the market, and a global reach that included engagements in more than 100 countries.

Forrester reported that KPMG had “good vision and excellent security strategy services”. KPMG’s key areas of strength included IT compliance, information risk management, and security assessment and planning.

The number of E&Y consultants dedicated specifically to information security was found to be relatively low compared with competitors of similar size. E&Y scored well in the design and implementation categories, and “unlike its other Big Four cohorts, its strengths are in the more technical fields as opposed to information risk management and IT compliance”, the report stated.

Commenting on the report, Deloitte Global leader of enterprise risk services Mark Layton said: “Evidenced by our recent position as a leader in Forrester’s June 2007 Risk Consulting Services Wave, and now our recognition as a leader in the security consulting wave, it’s clear the Deloitte risk platform is a leader in delivering client value.”

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