Oracle views security as a potential core competency and differentiator for managed service providers (MSP).

APAC identity management sales consulting leader, Clarence Cheah, said customers want to have the confidence in knowing security is being taken care of.

"It is important to have visibility with controls in place," he said.

"Sometimes you do a good job of putting the controls in place, though not enough to make it visible."

Cheah admits the same principles of security apply whether it is provisioned traditionally or through an MSP, though a managed services approach can act as a point of differentiation.

"Traditionally when we look at MSPs with security, it's about datacentres and privileged users, where controls need to be in place to data leakage needs to be prevented," he said.

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However, with disruptive technologies like mobile, Cloud and social, the conversation is no longer about firewalls and datacentres.

Instead, Cheah said the discussion has evolved into new business models and channels to market, creating closer partnerships with external entities, and creating private Clouds.

"It is driving a different view on how we secure these services and data," he said.

A maturing industry

Security remains a major concern for organisations that are adopting any type of Cloud service, and Cheah said this includes managed services.

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He points to recent surveys where almost half of the respondents said their adoption of Cloud services have been slowed or stopped due to security concerns.

At the same time, Cheah said the industry has "come a long way" and is been "working diligently" improve the situation.

"Over the years, managed service providers have established a lot of security processes and procedures," he said.

"They have learned from experiences and are using modern technologies to plug some of the gaps, and are becoming smarter in how they tackle these types of opportunities."

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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