Top ITOA Predictions for 2017

The ITOA Landscape’s 2017 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 2017.

Automated and Deep IT Business Impact Insight

Digitization of value chains turns ITOA into a strategic asset for management

Digitization explodes through organizations’ business processes and throughout complete B2B value chains spanning external customer, suppliers and partners. Digitization is increasingly real-time with low tolerance for latency and performance problems. Digitization is directly tied to business processes that can be directly translated to revenues or costs. The increasing reliance and vulnerability to performance issues in the IT stack becomes increasingly critical with P&L impact transparency.

2017 will see automated and deep IT business impact insight become increasingly deployed, understood and leveraged by management as a key competitive advantage to deliver shareholder value.

Ivar Sagemo
CEO, AIMS Innovation

More Purpose-built Analytics-driven Apps Will Emerge

In 2017 more purpose-built analytics-driven apps will emerge. They will focus on a specific domain, aiming to solve a real business problem. It may leverage open source tools and platforms, but will bring in significant enhancement in the area of domain expertise and ease of deployment / maintenance. Instead of offline analysis mode, these apps will interact with core business functions in a real-time fashion therefore become more front and center.

Jin Zhang
Sr. Director of Analytics, CA Technologies

Business Driven Digital IT and Cloud Native Architectures Accelerate Need for Next Gen ITOA

IT Transformation is all about optimizing and automating IT alignment with business outcomes. ITOA has changed the game from Tools driven IT to Insights driven IT. ITOA solutions will start addressing multiple stakeholders beyond IT Operations. Next generation advanced ITOA solutions further change the game from Insights driven IT to Outcomes driven IT. Advanced ITOA solutions will take the holistic platform approach and have multiple touch points across operational domains and application layers for a given business outcome.

Continuous adoption of microservices, containers and distributed cloud native architectures will further accelerate the need for the Outcomes driven ITOA approach. Providing business or application context and advanced machine learning analytics will simplify and streamline the complexity of distributed and dynamic nature of the digital world

Bhaskar Krishnamsetty
Chief Product Officer, Cloudfabrix

Proactive Analysis in ITOA Tools Will Provide Financial Impact and Uptime

Digital Transformation is the biggest trend in enterprise technology and the Inability to provide business level reporting is one of the key pain points for IT performance of organizations. The way datacenters are designed today doesn’t allow datacenter to wisely “right manage” and “right size” their Business IT, Lack of visibility into key business indicators resource utilization and too much time spent on troubleshooting and preventing performance issues.

I believe that in 2017 we will see more innovation and development in the ITOA space, where management insights will take the lead, providing the control and IT transparency across the organization, helping companies to convert expenses to profit and uptime.

Ofer Laksman
CEO, Correlata

Microservices and containers increase the need for ITOA

In 2016 we saw container technologies such as Docker become production ready. As applications are further split into microservices and containerized, the number of metrics to monitor becomes unmanageable. Containers are constantly added and removed, and this at a much faster pace and larger scale than servers or VMs. In order to monitor such ephemeral infrastructures that generate an overload of constantly changing metrics, adapted ITOA tools will be required. Such tools will need to embed more knowledge about the infrastructure orchestration and service dependencies, and include techniques such as anomaly detection to rapidly identify abnormal behaviour without having to constantly reconfigure alerting rules.

Peter Arijs
Product and Marketing Manager, CoScale

Problem Detection and Security Analytics Will Become Key

IT Operations Analytics has been growing in the past years and offers organisations a lot of benefits in keeping their IT operational. However, with the increased data security threats for 2017, IT Operations Analytics to discover these threats is increasingly becoming important for organisations. Especially those organisations that offer Internet of Things products, or any connected device, need to be aware that those products are part of the IT network as well. Each connected device is a potential entry point for hackers and knowing how these devices interact with your IT network is vital for organisations to keep the gates closed. 2017 will therefore see an increased need for ITOA, not only to optimise the IT network, but more importantly to protect is from potential hackers.

Mark van Rijmenam
Founder, Datafloq

ITOA to Become Leading Transformative Technology for IT

General operational analysis of machine data, without any understanding of the context and domain knowledge, has its limits.

IT Operations Analytics—or what we call at EMA “Advanced IT Analytics” (AIA) is indeed a landscape more than a market, with unique and varied approaches supporting multiple use cases. My predictions center on increased differentiation on vendors based on use case, design and time-to-value. Use cases will range from performance management to change management to capacity optimization (across cloud and hybrid environments) to financial optimization and business value optimization.

On the other hand, the need for multi-use-case adoption based on common data for interdependent ends will grow as well. Integrated security requirements will also drive analytics adoption for SecOps and/or DevSecOps. “Ops” is a misnomer in some respects, as roles will evolve to support strong integration with development, ITSM teams, the IT executive suite and business stakeholders. AIA (or ITOA) will also be increasingly linked with advances in automation and more mature IT processes overall, as well as other technologies such as service modeling, and social IT.

AIA (or ITOA) will continue to profit from being a tiered system of analytics leveraging multiple advanced monitoring and other sources, versus simply a melting pot for data. Those who pursue big data first and analytics second will find themselves stymied, much like many CMDB deployments foundered on data melting pots without use case or relevance. As it evolves, AIA has the chance of becoming the leading transformative technology for IT in support of IT and digital transformation. As such it will become increasingly a concern for the IT executive suite.

Dennis Drogseth
Vice President, Enterprise Management Group, EMA

Actionable Analytics Insights in Natural Language

Last year we saw significant progress in the ITOA space blending and correlating multiple data sources. However, most of the ITOA solutions still require customers to slice and dice outcomes of blended analysis to interpret them or present these outcomes in a complex, specialized manner. I expect that this year ITOA technologies will expand use of recent advances in machine learning to automate data interpretation. The result will be a generation of specific, easy to understand insights that can be utilized by Operations teams without significant training and investigation overhead. The machinery of the analytics will be hidden from the users that will be just consuming and acting on automatically generated findings, guidelines and instructions, which will be presented in a native language.

Sasha Gilenson
CEO, Evolven

IT Teams Will Require a New Generation of ITOA Monitoring Capabilities

IT operations will converge with DevOps practices, enabling the delivery of faster, better code, central to the notion that the application (user experience) is king. The adoption of DevOps as a cultural practice will accelerate and become broadly adopted as the best way to deliver software in the enterprise. Because of this, IT teams will need more flexible networking architectures and will require a new generation of ITOA monitoring capabilities. As insights are increasingly gleaned from ITOA, intelligence will move up the stack into software, and the commoditization of underlying network hardware will only increase.

John Leon
Vice President of Business Development, ExtraHop

ITOA to Become a Key Enabler for Digital Business in 2017

As enterprises become increasingly digital, ITOA will drive business growth plans as an integral part of any digital transformation strategy. ITOA tools need to interoperate with emerging technologies, such as cloud, virtualization, mobility, big data, containers, micro-services and IoT – the foundation for successful delivery of digital services. An end-to-end correlated view between the end-user performance of digital services, the supporting applications and infrastructure, across complex environments, will become a critical requirement. Predictive and prescriptive analytics, automation, close-loop functions and artificial intelligence will continue to grow as top ITOA trends in 2017.

Bishnu Nayak
CTO, FixStream

Significant Shift to Adoption of Cognitive Capabilities

2017 will be defined by a significant shift towards the adoption of cognitive capabilities. One of the ways in which this will manifest itself is through cognitive chatbots that apply machine learning capabilities to demonstrate the ability to learn on the job. Chatbots will become the new SME that assists IT first responders to resolve incidents with greater speed and efficiency.

Denny O’Brien
Program Director, Offering Management, IBM Cloud, IBM

Will Do More With Masses of Valuable Data from Existing Tools

The data is out there ...

Continually adding new products to that already groaning portfolio of IT management tools and point solutions is costly, fragments ITOps' view of the health of the enterprise, and simply isn't sustainable.

During 2017 we expect more organizations to recognize the advantages of open APIs and embark on doing more with the masses of valuable data from their existing tool-sets. Harvesting, consolidating, correlating and presenting this data back to the business in the context of service - via Business Value Dashboards not only makes meaningful sense of technology state information - but is also a means of putting a lid on the proliferation of tools."

Grant Glading
Head of Sales and Marketing, Interlink Software

A Shift Away from Chasing 'Predictive' Unicorns

Enterprises, already slightly disillusioned by the failure of mainstream vendors to deliver machine-learning enabled “predicative analytics”, will take a more pragmatic approach to automating their management of IT Operations data.

Rather than cling to the assumption that unforeseen events can somehow be magically predicted by modeling past behavior, their emphasis will be more on real-time analytics, and the practical application of algorithmic techniques to regain control of actual service.

While current predictive techniques - typically provided as feature-adds to existing traditional monitoring tools – still have some utility in well understood domains, such as capacity planning, usage trend analysis, and behavioral analytics, their practical usefulness is being rapidly eroded by the rate-of-change in the environment, and the ephemeral nature of today’s hyper-virtualized infrastructure.

The alternative, will be a combination of newer infrastructure technologies, purpose built to provide data-drive instrumentation, new generation tools built with algorithmic operations in their DNA, not as a feature, and a general shift in operations workflow mind-set to accommodate these improvements. 2017 will be the year we see this process begin in earnest.

Richard Whitehead
Chief Evangelist, Moogsoft

ITOA Will Open the Door to the Value of Analytics for Ops

Deep machine learning is expanding the automation and analytics capabilities of IT operations

Aligned with the simplification message in how IT management is conducted is the automation and analytics technologies. These two technologies have become synonymous with each other as the ability of machine learning, or artificial intelligence, has grown and become more applicable for specific use cases, such as ITOA or operational automation. One of the key areas where these two technologies are being deployed is in DevOps and the ingesting of code into a tool such as Jenkins. The ability of the machine learning and analytics can evaluate the code ingested, compare it to the last version of code and perform analysis on the degree of risk automatically releasing the code involves. This example is just one where the automation engine has no fixed rules on say the number of lines of code, number of database calls etc., but understands in the context of the code the degree of risk it represents.

The deep learning technologies in 2016 were boasted by the NVIDIA DGX-1, and AWS P1 instances, which made available powerful systems that could be used for applications to learn the behaviors needed cost effectively. Ovum expects that this democratization of the platforms will be the start of more complex deep learning solutions for functions that demonstrate a business value in terms of new business or efficiency savings. The result will be that ITOA will become a leading use case for these new solutions as ITOA has opened the door to the value of analytics for operational teams.

Roy Illsley
Principal Analyst Infrastructure Solutions , Ovum

ITOA Will Get More Artificial Intelligence

With deep learning, machine learning and many other sub-domains moving into the mainstream in the past 12 months we will see these approaches applied to IT Operations data in 2017. Pattern recognition in unstructured no-SQL data will really start to blossom, providing predictive outcomes before they happen. For the first time in many years overall critical business down-time will decrease as the machines come to the aid of the human tech-worker.

Matthew Carr
Business Development Manager, Savision

Hybrid IT: Not Just a Concept, but a Reality

There’s no doubt that hybrid IT is the reality for the majority of organizations today and in the foreseeable future. And not only that, the center of technology itself is becoming increasingly hybrid. IT professionals must start thinking about management in a hybrid context. But what does it actually look like in practice?

In 2017, IT and business leaders will decide on specific solutions as they implement hybrid IT. For example, they may choose to use Office 365 and Skype for Business while hosting the identity management solution, Active Directory Federated Services, on-premises. Alternatively, the cloud has proven to be the best platform for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), delivering organizations the required flexibility and elasticity to provision and de-provision virtual desktops in bulk. By migrating this workload to the cloud, an organization is able to relieve its IT professionals of the need to manage that infrastructure directly and refocus efforts on other on-premises projects.

Therefore, also in 2017—and beyond—IT departments must exercise their growing responsibility to act as a technology liaison for business management by staying informed and making smart decisions when it comes to cloud, even if the decision is to do nothing in the near future because there is no immediate need for change. The key is to build a hybrid IT roadmap that integrates cloud adoption based on a per-workload and per-application basis to achieve a more agile, available, scalable, and efficient data center. ITOA can be the focal point in the hybrid IT operations decision-making process through normalizing efficiency and effectiveness of optimization, automation, and orchestration workflows via best practice policies customized for each unique environment.

Kong Yang
Head Geek, SolarWinds

2017: The Year Machine Learning Takes Off

The recent election is going to heighten security in general because of the amount of backlash with foreign affairs that it has caused.

In my opinion there was no good option for President, but now we stepped into the worst option and therefore, feel under attack. The Federal Government, businesses and providers will be under a level of cyber attack that we have never seen before. I have been through many elections in my professional life and have never seen politics affect a companies at this level.

George Gerchow
VP of Security and Compliance, SumoLogic

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