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

May 23, 2024

Hybrid cloud architecture is breaking the backs of network engineering and operations teams. These teams are more successful when their companies go all-in with the cloud or stay out of it entirely. When companies maintain hybrid infrastructure, with applications and data residing across data centers and public cloud services, the network team struggles. This insight emerged in the newly published 2024 edition of Enterprise Management Associates' (EMA) Network Management Megatrends research ...

May 22, 2024

As IT practitioners, we often find ourselves fighting fires rather than proactively getting ahead ... Many spend countless hours managing several tools that give them different, fractured views of their own work — which isn't an effective use of time. Balancing daily technical tasks with long-term company goals requires a three-step approach. I'll share these steps and tips for others to do the same ...

May 21, 2024

IT service outages are more than a minor inconvenience. They can cost businesses millions while simultaneously leading to customer dissatisfaction and reputational damage. Moreover, the constant pressure of dealing with fire drills and escalations day and night can take a heavy toll on ITOps teams, leading to increased stress, human error, and burnout ...

May 20, 2024

Amid economic disruption, fintech competition, and other headwinds in recent years, banks have had to quickly adjust to the demands of the market. This adaptation is often reliant on having the right technology infrastructure in place ...

May 17, 2024

In MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Episode 6, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at EMA discusses network automation ...

May 16, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development and infrastructure management, observability stands as a crucial pillar. Among its fundamental components lies log collection ... However, traditional methods of log collection have faced challenges, especially in high-volume and dynamic environments. Enter eBPF, a groundbreaking technology ...

May 15, 2024

Businesses are dazzled by the promise of generative AI, as it touts the capability to increase productivity and efficiency, cut costs, and provide competitive advantages. With more and more generative AI options available today, businesses are now investigating how to convert the AI promise into profit. One way businesses are looking to do this is by using AI to improve personalized customer engagement ...

May 14, 2024

In the fast-evolving realm of cloud computing, where innovation collides with fiscal responsibility, the Flexera 2024 State of the Cloud Report illuminates the challenges and triumphs shaping the digital landscape ... At the forefront of this year's findings is the resounding chorus of organizations grappling with cloud costs ...

May 13, 2024

Government agencies are transforming to improve the digital experience for employees and citizens, allowing them to achieve key goals, including unleashing staff productivity, recruiting and retaining talent in the public sector, and delivering on the mission, according to the Global Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Survey from Riverbed ...

May 09, 2024

App sprawl has been a concern for technologists for some time, but it has never presented such a challenge as now. As organizations move to implement generative AI into their applications, it's only going to become more complex ... Observability is a necessary component for understanding the vast amounts of complex data within AI-infused applications, and it must be the centerpiece of an app- and data-centric strategy to truly manage app sprawl ...