At the Crossroads of Digital Transformation: The Future of the Advanced IT Analytics "Market"
October 19, 2017

Dennis Drogseth
EMA

Share this

One of the things that became quickly apparent in researching the thirteen vendors in EMA's Advanced IT Analytics Buyer's Guide was that the market, if you can call it a market at all, is rapidly changing. This is true across the board — in functionality, scope, and use case. Splunk's recent acquisition of Rocana (announced three days before writing this blog) only accentuates the dynamism underway.

It's also important to keep the diversity of the Advanced IT Analytics (AIA) landscape in mind as you plan for your investments. AIA is still not a market in the traditional sense, since market definitions typically require narrow technology parameters for creating discrete buckets for market sizing and contrast. My vision of AIA is rather an arena of fast-growing exploration and invention, in which in-house development is beginning to cede to third-party solutions that can accelerate time to value.

The comments presented below reflect an admittedly optimistic worldview on this topic. But the optimism is founded in dialog and research. What I'm sharing here is both what I believe to be true, and what I hope to be true. Given history of course, there is often something of an abyss between potential and reality. An abyss that is usually emerges from the politics and comfort levels in positions of leadership, as well as boxed-in views of reality defined, alas, too often by the likes of me.

But for the fun of it — let's cross that abyss now.

Architected for growth

After reviewing the ratings for each vendor on a scale of "outstanding" to "not present" for a wide range of capabilities just described in my three prior blogs on shopping cart criteria — I expect to see significant progress as soon as 12 months out. I expect that more than a few ratings of "present" or "in process" will become "strong" or conceivably even "outstanding." This is good news for both the vendors included in this report and for IT adopters seeking to invest in growth opportunities.

All 13 AIA solutions, as different as they are from each other, are architected for growth and versatility. Look especially for innovations in cognitive computing, more prescriptive analytics, and more evolved capabilities to support if/then analytics for change and capacity planning.

Look as well for a growth in business impact values and outreach into emerging areas such as IoT and integrated security. And for those AIA vendors with a strong APM focus, look for continued growth in the DevOpsarena.

Beyond Big Data

AIA is also not strictly about big data in the classic sense. While large volumes of disparate data are central to the AIA story, dynamic currency and relevance is paramount. The cutting edge for AIA is analytics, use case, time to value, and focused realization. To confuse any of the solutions reviewed with simply putting a lot of data into Cassandra or Hadoop and then relying on Qlik or Elasticsearch is to do all 13 AIA vendor-innovators a great disservice.

Dependency mapping

Another trend that surfaced in researching this Buyer's Guide was the growing importance of service-dependency mapping and real-time or continuous discovery — two capabilities that have been at odds in the past but which are beginning to converge within the AIA landscape.

AIA isn't just about data. It's about relevance and action.

Once again, AIA isn't just about data. It's about relevance and action. And insights into real-world and real-time interdependencies across the application/infrastructure, no matter how they are achieved and visualized, can provide a context for action, both in terms of technical relevance and in terms of the politics of siloed IT ownership.

The Best of Both Worlds

What's implied in this still very new arena for IT investment is that IT leadership wants the best of two worlds — diversity, eclectic use case, and broad stakeholder support, on the one hand, with tools that are easy to deploy and administer on the other hand.

Although there is still plenty of room for progress, we're already witnessing surprising advances in each of these areas. Perhaps what's most striking in our assessments, including the vetted comments from actual deployment interviews, is how much progress really has been made already—and how fast these solutions are evolving to address the total AIA wish list.

At the Crossroads of IT and Digital Transformation

Finally, the data from our prior research, confirmed largely by deployment interviews here, indicates that to succeed AIA needs to be viewed as a strategic, not a tactical, investment. AIA and its associated investments in visualization and automation sit at the very crossroads of IT and digital transformation.

In many IT organizations, AIA is best driven with senior executive support. This is because reaching meaningful benefits isn't just about deploying the most game-changing technology. It requires leadership to encourage new ways of working across IT and between IT and business stakeholders. As such, this transformation will eventually mean new kinds of dialogs and new ways of thinking.

As AIA matures, perhaps the very heart of the matter will move beyond technology breaking points and begin to center on more role awareness, dialog, and integrated IT and business transformation — where the analytic magic is so consumable that you don't really have to know it's there. 

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
Share this

The Latest

September 24, 2018

The financial industry is experiencing a massive wave of change over the last several years. Digital disruption has been truly disruptive to this industry. For instance, a mobile-centric world demands optimization of mobile applications and content delivery to provide the best possible customer experience. To this end, there are several ways to go about monitoring the network and its applications to collect the necessary performance data and deliver the requisite customer quality of experience ...

September 21, 2018

The performance gap between customer experience leaders and runners-up is widening, with those on top being disproportionately rewarded. Gartner said organizations must ignore three myths in order to achieve a superior customer experience ...

September 19, 2018

This summer marked three years since Microsoft announced Windows 10, its first "Windows as a service" Operating System (OS). Windows 10 brought with it a new Software-as-a-Service-like approach to updates, moving Microsoft and the millions of environments that depend on it, more frequent, bundled updates. Whether you believe the shift was for better or worse, one thing is certain, this "as a service" model is a natural progression for today's operating systems. That is why Windows 10 is changing not only how frequently updates are pushed out, but inherently how technology is purchased, how people consume it, and perhaps most importantly, how IT is run. Let's take a look at how Windows 10 has impacted these three key areas over the past three years ...

September 18, 2018

To celebrate IT Professionals Day 2018 (this year on September 18), the SolarWinds IT Pro Day 2018: A World Powered by Tech Pros survey explores a "Tech PROactive" world where technology professionals have the time, resources, and ability to use their technology prowess to do absolutely anything ...

September 17, 2018

Are digital war rooms obsolete because they're just a place for managers of siloed business units to find someone else to blame for a critical IT event such as a security breach? Far from it. Enterprises find these emergency response teams just as important, if not more important, than ever ...

September 14, 2018

The goal of EMA's latest research was to look at how advanced IT analytics (AIA) — EMA's term for primarily what today is best known as "AIOps" — is being deployed. Here are the remaining four of my seven personal takeaways ...

September 13, 2018

OK, the data is in! The goal of EMA's latest research was to look at how advanced IT analytics (AIA) — or EMA's term for primarily what today is best known as "AIOps" — is being deployed. Here are seven of my own personal takeaways ...

September 12, 2018

By maximizing the knowledge of end-to-end quality of service (QoS) using virtualized network functions (VNFs), the SD-WAN (edge) gateway establishes a suitable connection with minimal latency and maximum performance so that entire organizations can make the most of the Office 365 application suite ...

September 11, 2018

Market exuberance for Office 365 has inspired business mandates to adopt the cloud-hosted collaboration and productivity suite without regards to the underlying chaos. While multi-location organizations are virtualizing, operating models haven’t necessarily changed. This partial transformation that excludes automation and simplification of the network puts Office 365 deployments (and other software-as-a-service offerings) in danger of failing ...

September 10, 2018

Most organizations are undergoing a digital transformation that directly impacts how they do business, yet 70 percent of employees have not mastered the skills they need for their jobs today, and 80 percent of employees do not have the skills needed for their current and future roles, according to Gartner ...