Top ITOA Predictions for 2015

The ITOA Landscape’s 2015 ITOA Predictions list features exclusive quotes from the recently recognized IT Operations Analytics Leaders list (the ITOA50), as well as the leading analysts focused on ITOA. This collection provides insightful and bold predictions on how IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) will emerge and impact organizations in 2015.

Automate analytics with Machine Learning to Pave the Way for Digitalization

Digital business is not only transforming how business will be done but the way IT organizations need to support the business. While downtimes have always been costly, downtimes in a digital world will become even more impactful to the business in terms of magnitude and speed of how fast it happens (without warning). Digital business comes with an increasing amount and complexity of data —traditional structured data will now be supplemented with unstructured data (text, audio, video, social, sensors, etc.). This means more and more data will be accessible to IT than before. Smart organizations will derive value from all this data and use it to gain a competitive advantage.

It will be humanly impossible for IT organizations to analyse all this data manually. In 2015, we will become more dependent on machine learning and automated analytics engines to manage and monitor our services, instead of the traditional model of looking for pre-defined patterns or events and then reacting to them. Machine learning technologies will constantly scan huge volumes of data in order to find problems we never anticipated and prevent them from ever occurring. We will use sophisticated analysis tools to discover trends and relationships between our IT system data and business information that we could not see before. With valuable insights derived from the data, IT organizations can then quickly adapt to changing conditions and support the digital transformation of the business enterprise.

Christoph Pfister
Senior Vice President and General Manager, BSM
HP Software

Blended Analytics With a Focus on Change

With the explosive growth of IT operations analytics (ITOA), currently many solutions are focused on their particular data in their own process silo. I predict that we will see the appearance of solutions that analyze blends of major sources of data to offer more accurate and proactive information. By combining data from different sources, like Performance and Configuration or logs and events, IT operations professional will be exposed to a whole new world of insights enabling effective operations. Just like the hybrid approach to the cloud has benefited many companies, a blended approach to analytics offers more than its individual parts. Blending data sources will allow IT operations analytics solutions to correlate terabytes of operations data in real time, and proactively spot more issues. With a single platform consolidating a variety of data sources, ITOA adoption will increase, bridging operational silos and providing clear context to better handle problems critical to IT health and performance.

Sasha Gilenson
CEO, Evolven

Bridge Management of On-premise to In-the-cloud Technologies

Both Gartner and 451 Research analyst have indicated that they believe that cloud computing has hit the shifting point from primarily greenfield applications running in the cloud to more businesses moving critical applications to the cloud. With more organizations moving core business applications into the cloud, we will see more demand for ITOA technologies that can help IT teams bridge the management gap between on-premises and in-the-cloud resources. IT teams will need analysis of the interconnectivity, usage, security, trouble areas and performance of applications being run in the cloud by users on-premises.

Jesse Frye
Director of Marketing and Analyst Relations, RISC Networks

Bridge Metrics for Physical Data Centers, IT Technology Stack and Financial Life-cycle

It is my observation that ITOA will break through Predictive to Prescriptive, Service-Aligned Analytics. Advancing beyond the ability to proactively predict near term potential issues in IT, the use of automated analytics will begin to deliver advanced and valuable prescriptions for the optimized and continuous balance of Service Performance and Service Delivery Costs. How this will be done is based on the following:

The dimensions of these analytics will begin to truly bridge physical data center metrics (assets, power, thermals, etc.), the IT technology stack metrics (availability, performance and capacity of Server, Storage and Networks), and financial life-cycle metrics.

The power and promise of big data unstructured data analytics will finally be able to fully expand to cost-effectively digest the vast quantities of structured, raw, time-series IT Operations performance metrics (infrastructure performance, service response time, etc.) with neither the cumbersome and costly need to "pre-digest/summarize" the data, nor performance degradations as data stores inevitably rapidly grow in size.

David Wagner
Director Market Development, TeamQuest Corporation

Capabilities Of ITOA Tools Will Jump

  1. Capabilities of ITOA tools will jump beyond enabling human driven analytics with occasional automated support in the areas of pattern discovery and anomaly detection towards a primary reliance on machine driven analytics. Machine learning centric analytics will first appear in what Gartner calls little ITOA systems and eventually migrate towards big ITOA.

  2. Underpinnings of the next gen ITOA tools will allow for sophisticated languages and mashups of data which are not easily done by tools offered today. These will not only allow for more advanced analysis visually, but also make the combination and visualization of data more sophisticated.

  3. There will be an emergence of what an ITOA strategy and technology stack should look like, or what Gartner calls big ITOA. This will include the distinct data repositories which are best suited for unstructured data, time series data, and relational stores. This best of breed architecture will become increasingly well understood and supported by leveraging open source technologies.
Jonah Kowall
Research VP, Gartner

Clarity Emerges Around IT Operations Analytics

In Q4 2014, Gartner took its first significant step toward clearly defining the emerging IT Operations Analytics category. Segmenting the market into "LittleITOA" and "Big ITOA", Gartner took critical first steps toward categorizing not only the diverse technologies that fit within the broad parameters of the sector, but the types of buyers (and the relative maturity) that are candidates to implement these solutions. In 2015, expect to see further refinement of the category as IT buyers press Gartner and other experts on technologies that deliver the IT visibility necessary for more streamlined and efficient operations across the business.

Jesse Rothstein
CEO, ExtraHop

Correlate Infrastructure Focused Analytics with End User Experience Metrics

Adoption of mobile workspaces to provide anywhere, anytime access to workforce apps will cross the chasm in 2015 and become mainstream in markets from financial services and healthcare to retail and logistics. As enterprises deploy these initiatives, they'll expect their ITOA tools to correlate infrastructure focused analytics with metrics related to end user experience of apps delivered on mobile, virtual, and physical devices.

Mike Marks
Chief Product Evangelist, Aternity

Data Volume Will Take Up Focus

Last year, we predicted that organizations would find a lack of application performance data a major gap in their ITOA initiatives. In 2014, we saw leading vendors make moves to bring this data into their ITOA tools. In 2015 we expect issues surrounding data volume to arise as organizations struggle to balance completeness with data indexing and storage costs.

Marc Borbas
VP of Product Marketing, INETCO

Ensure Application Performance

It's no secret that growth in SaaS application usage—just look at Office365 for evidence—as well as IaaS usage greatly accelerated in 2014. As a result, hybrid cloud monitoring will become mainstream in 2015. What this means is that IT operations will need to ensure they have their finger on application performance regardless of where apps live. We're at the tipping point where in 2015 knowledge of IaaS and SaaS performance will become a requirement for IT operations analytics.

Jennifer Kuvlesky
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, SolarWinds

First Steps Towards Truly Self-healing Systems

2015 will mark the convergence of metrics (time series) analysis, log (event) analysis and the advanced machine learning frameworks that have thus far been restricted to academia. This convergence will bring context-aware, intelligent monitoring that automatically adapts to dynamic environments, making guesswork and static thresholds, along with the corresponding false positives and alarm fatigue, a thing of the past. This will largely free IT Ops from the unfortunately common scenario of having to keep an eye on hundreds of graphs on screens in an attempt to stay on top of all that data they are collecting. It will also bring automated alert correlation capabilities that will replace much of the investigation work that typically depends on human sleuthing, allowing IT Ops to concentrate on resolving issues sooner. Most exciting is that for certain types of issues, this convergence will enable the automation of corrective action in near real time without any human intervention. In 2015 ITOA will take some of its first steps towards truly self-healing systems.

Toufic Boubez
Ph.D., Founder/Chief Technology Officer, Metafor Software

Increasing Awareness of ITOA Solutions

In 2014, we saw a number of solution vendors, especially those focused on application or software-centric analytics begin to message that their solutions can be used to optimize business outcomes. This messaging and solution feature development will continue in 2015 as software strategy remains key to business success in all industries. This means that marketing, eCommerce and customer insights professionals will increasingly become aware of ITOA solutions focused on software optimization and will want to know how these solutions fit into their overall business intelligence strategy.

John Rakowski
Analyst & Advisor, Forrester

ITOA Solutions Will be Required to Rapidly Improve Data Collection

With rapid adoption of new infrastructure and application delivery platforms (cloud, *aaS, containers, web, mobile) and IT Operations pressures (DevOps, ITSM, 3rd party suppliers) in these environments, legacy silo-based approaches for management and monitoring will continue to erode in favor of more flexible, self-learning, automatic and analytic based solutions. Applications architectures will grow to be much more hybrid in nature requiring ITOA solutions to rapidly improve data collection, processing, normalization and correlation capabilities across these environments and their data sources. Legacy tools and scripts, dashboards and reports become "ITOA Apps" which interactively guide the IT Operations SME through triage, troubleshooting and resolution activities using analytics enabled expert systems and knowledge bases enabling SME's to maintain high levels of availability and user experience while doing "more with less".

Doug McClure
IT and Application Analytics Solutions,
IBM Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure

ITOA Will Focus More on Mixed Data

The ITOA Landscape will focus more on Mixed Data, meaning that multiple data sources will be used to understand what is going on within your IT environment. This will give organizations a 360 degrees view on their IT environment, allowing them to take action before it is necessary. 2015 promises to be a big year for ITOA with more organizations seeing the value in Mixed Data within their IT environment.

Mark van Rijmenam
Co-founder & CEO, Datafloq

ITOA Will Move IT Ops to Service Orientation

Competitive business strategies now require 3rd Platform capabilities of cloud and mobility services, big data and analytics, and social business to understand and engage with customers and partners. But for IT organizations to be competitive with external forces and the cloud, they must provide an equivalent 3rd Platform service paradigm. This will require restructuring IT to deliver IT-as-a-Service. The ramp up and application of IT Operations Analytics will enable the automation and transformation required for IT to embrace a new service-orientation.

This trend has already started. In IDC's recent CIO Sentiment Survey, 83% of CIOs said that they are judged on IT “service” availability and 61% said they are judged on new IT “service” creation and innovation. Consequently, by 2016, 65% of global competitive strategies will require real-time 3rd Platform IT as a Service and initiation of ITOA.

Bill Keyworth
Vice President Research, IDC

Key to Operating the Software-defined Data Centre

IT operations is being transformed by a combination of IT operational analytics and the software-defined data centre movement. Software-defined continues to mature and adoption by enterprise customers is increasing rapidly. However, there will be a point where this adoption reaches a stage of stagnation due to the complexities of managing change in a software-defined environment. Ovum considers at this point operational analytics will become the key capability needed to operate the software-defined data centre efficiently and drive the continued transformation of IT operations.

Roy Illsley
Principal Analyst, Ovum

Leave 'Operations' Behind

IT Operations Analytics will begin to leave 'operations' behind—as a limiter. ITOA, or as EMA calls it, Advanced Operations Analytics, will diversify into many use cases that will include IT Service Management, IT financial and asset optimization, development and dev/ops, and security to name a few. Winners in this evolving market will combine fast time to value and reduced administrative overhead with role-aware modularity in delivering use-case values.

Dennis Drogseth
Vice President, EMA

Machine-Driven Analytics Will Shift

Machine-driven analytics will shift from a focus on establishing multivariable probabilistic correlations towards the determination of genuine causal paths connecting events.

Will Cappelli
Research VP, Gartner

MSPs Adopt End-user Centric ITOA in a Big Way

Over the past few years industry analysts such as Gartner and Forrester, have been advising IT outsourcers, end-user service providers, and MSPs that they need to move from a reactive to proactive model. While this is a cautionary note, there is hope for these service providers in that buyers are willing to pay more for proactive and predictive services. However, the message is clear, innovate or die. These providers recognize that big data analytics will be transformational and that end-user centric IT operations analytics (ITOA) is key to making services more personal and helping their customers' employees leverage business technology, which is essential for success. For these reasons, leading service providers will adopt end-user centric ITOA in a big way in 2015.

Poul Nielsen
CMO, Nexthink

Provide the Most Intuitive Real-time Views

ITOA solutions that can discern an overall pattern from a mass of detail to see the big picture, will prove popular. Organisations will always stick to their domain tools that provide best in class monitoring for their particular infrastructure and application stacks. By consolidating the data from multiple tools the focus for ITOA vendors next year will be on providing the most intuitive real time views for IT Managers and business users, rather than deep-diving analytical tools which take longer to deliver ROI.

Matthew Carr
Business Intelligence Manager, Savision

SaaS-based ITOA will be Embraced by Businesses Hosted in Public Clouds

As IT Operations Analytics matures and expands, some larger and more risk conscious organizations are reluctant to embrace ITOA as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering and continue to use on-premises versions. However, the number of businesses hosted in public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) are increasing rapidly and they are accustomed to using SaaS solutions. According to Datanyze over 35,000 of the top one million web sites are hosted on AWS alone and the number is increasing by 4,000+ each month. In fact, Gartner estimates that the Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will be over 40% between 2011 and 2016. This is creating a very large market for SaaS-based ITOA and we expect 2015 to be the year when e-commerce businesses hosted in public clouds embrace ITOA as SaaS. At Netuitive, we have launched our self-service SaaS offering to coincide with this mega trend.

Bob Farzami
CEO, Netuitive

Tame Infrastructure Complexity

End users are more demanding than ever. They expect a consumerized experience and "always on" availability while interacting with digital services. As IT infrastructure grows more complex, CIOs are increasingly looking to the combination of end user performance and IT analytics solutions to deliver powerful insights to help optimize their business. Thus, in 2015, I expect IT analytics will gain momentum as CIOs realize they can leverage big data and analytics based approaches to tame infrastructure complexity and ensure a great brand and user experience for customers.

Bill Berutti
President Performance and Availability, BMC

Turn to Machine Learning-based Analytics

In 2014 we saw greater understanding and acceptance among companies of IT Operational Analytics (ITOA) as an important tool that could have a significant positive impact on business. We expect that in 2015 ITOA leading edge enterprises will increasingly turn to machine learning based analytics as a more dependable and less error prone means of problem identification and resolution than current approaches based on human-defined rules, relationships and thresholds. High profile case studies will emerge in which enterprises provide higher quality services at lower costs while freeing human expertise from the drudgery of coaxing information from their management tools to undertake more creative endeavors.

Kevin Conklin
VP of Marketing, Prelert

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