Are You Thinking of Investing in Advanced IT Analytics?
(Hint - it's probably a good idea)
September 01, 2017

Dennis Drogseth
EMA

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There may be no more critical emerging technology for IT organizations in the digital age than advanced IT analytics (AIA) — most commonly called “operational analytics.” EMA prefers the term “advanced IT analytics” because these investments, while often centered in operations, can go far beyond classic IT operations to support IT service management (ITSM) teams, development, and the IT executive suite, as well as a growing range of business stakeholders.

AIA is also an area of incredible industry innovation. So far, at least, the leading AIA vendors have not been constrained by rigid technology-driven market definitions of the kind that, for instance, nearly doomed the evolution of configuration management databases (CMDBs).

Instead, AIA solutions are evolving in multiple flavors with a growing range of benefits — most often centered in performance and availability management for IT, but also, and increasingly, addressing change impact awareness, integrated support for change management, and even integrated capabilities for capacity planning and analytics.

It is with this in mind that EMA is launching what we believe is the first ever buyer's guide for AIA adoption: Leaders in Advanced IT Analytics: A Buyer's Guide for Investing in Innovation. To do this, EMA has invited 13 vendors — each with a distinctive footprint — which have met the following set of requirements that made them candidates for this guide.

■ Support for performance, availability and change impact awarenesswith both real-time and historical insights. We also looked for corollaries in change management, capacity planning and capacity optimization when appropriate.

■ Assimilation of data from cross-domain sources in high data volumesfor cross-domain insights, as well as insights into application/infrastructure interdependencies. These interdependency insights can be purely analytic, or affiliated with topology and/or modeling.

■ The ability to access multiple data types, e.g. events, KPIs, logs, flow, configuration data, etc.

■ Capabilities for self-learning, to deliver predictive, and/or prescriptive, and/or if/then actionable insights.

■ Support for a wide range of advanced heuristics such as multivariate analysis, machine learning, streaming data, tiered analytics, cognitive analytics, etc.

■ Use as strategic overlays that may assimilate or consolidate multiple monitoring investments.

■ Support for private cloud, public cloud, as well as hybrid/legacy environments.

Moreover, all 13 vendors have been carefully assessed and vetted in working with EMA, including validation through dialogs with customer deployments.

Who's Not Included?

This buyer's guide is directed at what EMA believes is the AIA heartland, but it is also a first step in charting the broader AIA landscape.

Saved for future evaluations are:

■ AIA solutions that do not support real-time as well as predictive performance-related insights.

■ Cross-domain AIA focused on single targeted data collection — most notably wire, packet or flow data.

■ Monitoring suites with growing investments in analytics, but which don't yet meet all the criteria listed above.

■ Domain-specific AIA — targeted at specific use cases in systems-only, or network-only arenas.

How and Where to Learn More

EMA will be launching the Buyer's Guide with a webinar on September 21, and will do our best to make it a resource for anyone in IT seriously interested in IT analytic adoption.

Our buyer's guide is not about winners or losers — but rather a detailed evaluation of each vendor's design point, attributes, capabilities, market history and unique strengths. These assessments have been supplemented with interviews with actual deployments to further inform each assessment.

Coming AIA Blogs

Looking ahead, I'll be doing follow-up blogs on the following topics:

Shopping Cart Criteria — a more detailed look at how we did our assessments

Winning strategies for AIA adoption— based on this research, as well as prior research done over the period of the last three years — including roadblocks and organizational as well as technology concerns

AIA benefits— what to look for in getting AIA successfully on board, based once again on this and three years of past research

Looking Forward and Looking Back— a broader assessment of what we learned and what we expect to see as AIA evolves

In the meantime, I do welcome your questions and comments regarding your own AIA experiences and needs. You can reach me at drogseth@emausa.com

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
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