Gartner Expert

Nat Smith

Sr Director Analyst

Nat Smith is a Senior Director security analyst in the Technology and Service Provider (TSP) division of Gartner, researching emerging technology and trends (ETT) for technology product leaders. Mr. Smith researches technology, markets and trends impacting network security especially artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This focus includes secure access services edge (SASE), network detection and response (NDR), firewalls (enterprise and UTM), firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), secure web gateways (SWG), zero trust network access (ZTNA), microsegmentation, IPS, advanced threats and cloud security. He has more than 20 years of high-tech experience in product leadership positions with security, networking and communications vendors including AT&T, Fortinet, Intel, McAfee, Palm, Riverbed, Symantec and T-Mobile.

Previous experience

Mr. Smith has previously worked in the fields of product management, product marketing and business development.

Professional background


Director Management and Analytics


Director Global Product Solutions

Symantec (Packeteer-Blue Coat)

Sr. Product Manager

Areas of coverage

Product Strategy and Launch for Tech CEOs

Messaging and Differentiation

Portfolio Growth, Vision and Strategy

Infrastructure Security

Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact on Products and Services


M.B.A., Marriott School, Brigham Young University

B.S., Physics, Psychology and Chemistry, Brigham Young University

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Top Issues That I Help Clients Address

1Security product leaders - applying emerging technology into security product roadmaps and portfolios, especially SASE, NDR, ZTNA, firewall, IPS, SWG

2Security product leaders - go-to-market strategies and tactics, including target positioning and messaging, channel strategy, pricing strategy

3Security product leaders - product evolution, adjacent markets, partnering and OEM

4Security buyers - product and vendor evaluation, especially SASE, NDR, ZTNA, firewall, IPS, SWG

5Security buyers - key network security issues and trends to facilitate strategic planning and budgeting