If You Are Looking to Invest in Advanced Analytics for IT, Exactly What Should You Be Shopping For? Part 1: Cost Advantage
September 29, 2017

Dennis Drogseth

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This is the fourth in my series of blogs inspired by EMA's AIA buyer's guide — directed at helping IT invest in Advanced IT Analytics (AIA), what the industry more commonly calls "Operational Analytics." The goal was to create a "Consumer's Report" approach. And to do that we took it one step further. We created what we called "Shopping Cart Criteria" based on our prior research on AIA adoptions over the past three years.

We divided the sixteen shopping cart criteria into three parts:

■ Cost advantage

■ Environments

■ Scenarios

I will address each of these criteria separately in the next three blogs. In this blog, I'm going to address cost advantage.

Cost, overhead, and time to value are often key challenges in adopting AIA solutions. In the past, these factors have often been especially onerous. But we saw strong levels of improvement among many vendors, and surprising areas of innovation among others. For instance, four of the vendors in our buyer's guide were primarily SaaS. And three had SaaS options as well as on-premise.

For cost, we provided pricing models and maintenance fee percentages. Then we dove into three critical areas:

■ Time to Value

■ Administration and Support

■ Toolset Consolidation

Time to Value

"Time to value" is defined differently by different vendors, which we captured based on the data we were provided as well as phone interviews. We documented factors relevant to ease of deployment, time to learn unique environments, and proof points from deployment interviews, with special weight to documented times for achieving critical strategic results. In our research, we saw valid assessments ranging from meaningful value delivered within a single day, and in fact in two cases within several hours, to more conservative estimates in terms of weeks and months.

Administration and Support

Here we looked at design and upgrade requirements, as well as insights into administrative overhead from deployments, as well as maintenance options and costs. We gave serious weight to the breadth and depth of professional services offered — querying vendors on a list of options ranging from "planning and deployment" (which was provided by all but one vendor) to support for "business activity management" (supported only by two).

Toolset Consolidation

One of the most compelling reasons for investing in AIA is toolset consolidation — which can bring both OpEx and CapEx cost savings. For this criterion, we considered breadth and ease of integrations, breadth of effective stakeholder support, and proof points from commentaries in deployments. The number of fully supported integrations we saw across our thirteen vendors ranged from 10 to more than 100 out-of-the-box. We also noticed a growing trend not only to assimilate data from monitoring and other sources, but also to promote data outward to third-party tools and dashboards, as well as IT service management solutions for workflow, trouble ticketing, and in some cases CMDB/CMS updates.

Read Part 2: Enivornments

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
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