In my July blog I referenced the term “Advanced Performance Analytics” or APA, a term I first coined while watching the rise of cross-domain requirements for managing IT business services - and the parallel growth of Big Data analytics in the service of those requirements.
By Q4 of last year I realized that the industry was at an APA turning point - so I decided to seriously research what functionality was available or about to become available in the market in 2012 with an EMA Radar dedicated to APA. Data collection for the APA Radar began in August.
I am now pretty much through data collection for the Radar — which includes 22 vendors and more than 30 deployment interviews, and calendared for full report availability and a Webinar on December 11, 2012.
The bold 22 included in this research are:
- eG Innovations
- VNS (Fluke)
And while this literally A-to-Z list doesn't cover every conceivable entrant, it's certainly more than representative of many of the real APA innovations available in the market today.
It's also, frankly, the biggest Radar to date that EMA has done in terms of both number of vendors, and number of Bubble Charts, which in this case will be six!
This is partly because my hope is to enable more of a Consumer Reports approach where interested IT buyers can select based on design, use case functionality and cost priorities versus seeing the radar as a horse race — which by definition is only about winners and losers - instead of the multi-dimensional criteria that should impact strategic technology selection.
Now, you might be wondering - why six Bubble Charts?
In addition to size requirements and core design differences between single-footprint and multi-footprint analytic choices, we are looking at three distinct use cases. As stated in the Radar guidelines and explained in my July blog, these are:
Use Case 1: Technical Performance Analytics – focused on optimizing the resiliency of critical application and business services.
Use Case 2: Business Impact – including user experience, customer experience, business process impacts, business activity management.
Use Case 3: Change Impact and Capacity Optimization/Planning – which share requirements in terms of understanding interdependencies across the application/service infrastructure. Many of the 22 APA solutions also support DevOps, while only a few strongly support security.
Needless to say, while all of these 22 vendors play strongly to the first use case, they are much more varied in levels of support for the second two use cases. My challenge in sorting through them, especially in Technical Performance, is that collectively they are already the elite – already pretty much the fastest horses on the track - in large part by the very virtue of the fact that they have already made significant APA investments.
You might ask, why do I love APA so much? (Enough, for instance, to have chosen to have embarked on what many might view as a masochistic commitment, given the breadth and depth of the cases involved.)
I like the fact that – even given their different design points – all the APA approaches enable cohesive views of service dynamics in ways that were not possible before.
I like the fact that many are already knocking with albeit trembling wrists on the doors of BI.
I like the fact that some are bringing change, configuration, capacity, and performance together in ways that will soon become revolutionary in their own right.
And above all, I like the fact that as a class they are self adaptive and self learning.
While they are not generally a cheap software investment — when I ask many deployments about administrative overhead, many respondents simply shrugged and calculated down to a small fraction of an FTE. Given the still administratively challenging state of most service management investments today, this in itself makes the advent of APA something to celebrate.
This is the first in a 3-part blog series providing an insider's look into EMA's upcoming Radar for APA.