Author Profile

Neil MacDonald

Neil MacDonald

Distinguished VP Analyst

28 years at Gartner,  40 years' experience

Location:  FL USA  |  Language(s):  English

Roles and Responsibilities

Neil MacDonald is a Vice President, Distinguished Analyst and Gartner Fellow Emeritus in Gartner Research, based in Stamford, Connecticut. Mr. MacDonald is a member of Gartner's technology service provider organization focusing on how vendors and end-user organizations secure hybrid multi-cloud and edge-based computing environments. Specific research areas include container/serverless security, protection of cloud workloads and applications, cloud security posture management and protection from advanced and targeted attacks with zero trust, adaptive security architectures based on a continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment (CARTA) strategic approach. His most recent research area explores the convergence of network and network security as a service into a cloud-based secure access service edge (SASE) and security service edge (SSE), enabling zero trust, anywhere/anytime access for a digital business and workforce.


Previous Experience

Mr. MacDonald joined Gartner in 1995 as an Analyst on Gartner's local area networking research team, where he focused on network computing infrastructure, including identity and access management, directory services and networked operating system security. This later evolved into Gartner's identity and access management research area. From 2001 through 2003, he led Gartner's worldwide team of industry-focused analysts, extending Gartner's research relevancy outside of the IT department to business executives wanting to use IT to better run their business. When this research team was folded back into the main research organization in 2004, he rejoined the information security research team. Prior to joining Gartner, he worked for an information management organization in IT operations, where he was a network specialist responsible for the planning, deployment, security and support of a 9,500-node multiprotocol and multiserver LAN/WAN system.

Professional Background

  • MD Buyline, Systems Analyst, 1 year
  • NextEra Energy (was Florida Power and Light), Networking Specialist, 8 years
  • Texas Power and Light, Transmission and SCADA Control Engineering, 4 years


  • B.S., with distinction, Electrical Engineering, University of Kansas
  • M.B.A., Florida International University

Industry Awards/Accolades

  • Named top information security industry analyst in 2011 "Most Powerful Voices in Security" by SYS-CON media
  • November 2011 - Named one of top 10 influencers in information security "Security Industry All-Stars" by Network World