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Persuading IT buyers to invest in security is no easy task because unlike other technologies, it doesn’t help companies cut costs or boost revenue.

If anything, IT buyers tend to look at security equipment and software as expenditures and nothing more.

This is why offering network protection as an on-demand service makes sense, and it is a model sure to become more and more prevalent in coming years, according to Brad Miller, CEO of Perimeter Internetworking, a provider managed security services based in Milford, Conn.

With on-demand managed security, the customer does not have to invest in equipment from various vendors or go through a lengthy planning and deployment period to take advantage of the technology, said Miller.

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“What on demand does is it takes away the hassle,” Miller told The Channel Insider in an interview.

Perimeter Internetworking, whose revenue has ballooned from $4.5 million in 2001 to a projected $32 million this year, is a pioneer of security services on-demand.

Much of the company’s growth has resulted from an acquisition spree that Miller said will continue for the foreseeable future.

The company is negotiating two acquisitions and is looking at another half-dozen potential acquisition targets.

Perimeter Internetworking’s “Security in the Cloud” service model remains a relatively unique approach, though a handful of other companies have built businesses on a similar approach.

“In the cloud” means the technology is managed from a central location and delivered over the Internet, eliminating the need for deployments at client sites.

Miller said he believes on-demand security services are about to gain a lot more popularity.

IBM’s recent $1.3 billion acquisition of security vendor Internet Security Systems, he said, is bound to focus more attention on the model because of IBM’s intention to use ISS’ technology as a platform to deliver security services on demand.

As goes IBM so do other companies, and Miller reasons that more big-name IT vendors are going to jump on the on-demand security services bandwagon, the result of which will be to raise awareness of the benefits of the model.

But it will take some time for them to get it right, he said. Miller said IBM has some work to do because ISS was primarily a company focused on product sales, which he said is antithetical to the on-demand approach.

“On demand, by definition, is in stark contrast to buying a product,” he said.

Security on demand, he said, has the potential to revolutionize the security space the way changed the CRM landscape.

As with complex security implementations, CRM also requires long and costly planning and implementations, Miller said.

Security on demand also offers customers the advantage of dealing with a single security technology provider.

Traditionally, vendors in the security space tend to specialize on limited products offerings such as anti-virus, firewall and intrusion detection, he said.

“You want someone who offers all the services,” he said.