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

July 18, 2019

Organizations that are working with artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) have, on average, four AI/ML projects in place, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. Of all respondents, 59% said they have AI deployed today ...

July 17, 2019

The 11th anniversary of the Apple App Store frames a momentous time period in how we interact with each other and the services upon which we have come to rely. Even so, we continue to have our in-app mobile experiences marred by poor performance and instability. Apple has done little to help, and other tools provide little to no visibility and benchmarks on which to prioritize our efforts outside of crashes ...

July 16, 2019

Confidence in artificial intelligence (AI) and its ability to enhance network operations is high, but only if the issue of bias is tackled. Service providers (68%) are most concerned about the bias impact of "bad or incomplete data sets," since effective AI requires clean, high quality, unbiased data, according to a new survey of communication service providers ...

July 15, 2019

Every internet connected network needs a visibility platform for traffic monitoring, information security and infrastructure security. To accomplish this, most enterprise networks utilize from four to seven specialized tools on network links in order to monitor, capture and analyze traffic. Connecting tools to live links with TAPs allow network managers to safely see, analyze and protect traffic without compromising network reliability. However, like most networking equipment it's critical that installation and configuration are done properly ...

July 11, 2019

The Democratic presidential debates are likely to have many people switching back-and-forth between live streams over the coming months. This is going to be especially true in the days before and after each debate, which will mean many office networks are likely to see a greater share of their total capacity going to streaming news services than ever before ...

July 10, 2019

Monitoring of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) infrastructures has become a key concern over the last several years. Modern versions of these systems need continual monitoring to stay energy efficient and deliver satisfactory comfort to building occupants. This is because there are a large number of environmental sensors and motorized control systems within HVAC systems. Proper monitoring helps maintain a consistent temperature to reduce energy and maintenance costs for this type of infrastructure ...

July 09, 2019

Shoppers won’t wait for retailers, according to a new research report titled, 2019 Retailer Website Performance Evaluation: Are Retail Websites Meeting Shopper Expectations? from Yottaa ...

June 27, 2019

Customer satisfaction and retention were the top concerns for a majority (58%) of IT leaders when suffering downtime or outages, according to a survey of top IT leaders conducted by AIOps Exchange. The effect of service interruptions on customers outweighed other concerns such as loss of revenue, brand reputation, negative press coverage, or the impact on IT Ops teams.

June 26, 2019

It is inevitable that employee productivity and the quality of customer experiences suffer as a consequence of the poor performance of O365. The quick detection and rapid resolution of problems associated with O365 are top of mind for any organization to keep its business humming ...

June 25, 2019

Employees at British businesses rate computer downtime as the most significant irritant at their current workplace (41 percent) when asked to pick their top three ...