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Splunk’s innovated ability to access and use machine data for targeted operational insights can help improve IT and enhance business operational efficiency. Its work to capitalize on big data was part of my last analysis, while my colleague Tony Cosentino looked at its focus on search and operational analytics. Splunk also was a recipient of the 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for IT Performance for Splunk Enterprise.VR_2012_TechAward_Winner_Logo

The latest Splunk release, version 5, advances its ability to provide operational intelligence to organizations by using data both from existing IT systems and in Hadoop. A new SDK offering supports Java, JavaScript, PHP and Python as part of its API. It can help developers get at data from social media and online applications and combine it with machine-generated data, which our research found to be the top data source according to 62 percent of organizations, followed by application data (53%) and historical data warehouse sources (43%).

Splunk also now provides a cloud computing offering called Splunk Storm that helps companies take advantage of machine data in the cloud or on-premises. It lets users quickly create projects and analyze machine data with charts that can be shared with others. I had a chance to go through the new offering and found it to be simple and quick to analyze data and present analytics based on events, IP addresses and other machine data. Our latest benchmark research into operational intelligence found that activity or event monitoring is a top need in 62 percent of organizations; Splunk Storm can address this through its search and analyze approach.

Splunk has made the pricing of the new offering simple. You select the storage volume you need in the cloud and get the pricing quickly. You can sign up for free and work with the product on data up to 1GB. Organizations can also analyze cloud data with the on-premises version of the product, but for many who need to quickly assess data without the hassle of using internal resources and systems, the software-as-a-service version is an easy way to get started. This is important, as the top barriers for operational intelligence are lack of resources (41%) and no budget (40%), and the on-demand approach is now preferred in 21 percent of organizations, which allows Splunk to address an expanding opportunity.

With its on-premises product and its latest cloud computing offering, Splunk provides customers a good array of options. The company is moving quickly to add alerting and APIs that can be used to integrate to other offerings to upcoming Splunk Storm releases. Splunk has little competition when it comes to combining machine data with other data from business and IT to help organizations in cloud and enterprise approaches. It lets businesses harvest existing sources without having to establish a specialized data store first. Organizations should take a look at what Splunk is providing and how it can help address a class of operational and analytic needs across IT and business data.


Mark Smith
CEO & Chief Research Officer

I’m happy to say that Ventana Research celebrated its tenth anniversary at our recent Business Technology Innovation Summit in San Jose at the Tech Museum. This location was fitting, since at the event we introduced and presented our first-ever Technology Innovation Awards and seventh annual Leadership Awards. If you did not get a chance to attend, we have the live webstream available for replay at no cost; thanks to Splunk for sponsoring this to let everyone enjoy the sessions.

At our summit we discussed best practices organizations can employ to save time and resources when using technology across business processes. We also unveiled a series of new research studies on  business technology innovation, next-generation business intelligence, integrated business planning, next-generation workforce management and customer service agent desktop.

Our firm has strived for ten years to present research based on business and IT facts, rather than projecting analyst opinions based on handfuls of inquiries from IT-specific clients. We rely on primary research across business and IT as the foundation for our analysis and guidance, while most industry analyst firms provide opinions that do not represent the business priorities of organizations, because they research only IT. We continue to see the varying priorities of business and IT through our research, even where the alignment is not obvious. In our recent research on technology innovation, for instance, we found the number one factor driving change across business and IT is a business improvement initiative (60%) – and if you are not researching business, you cannot understand the dynamics of what organizations are doing to prioritize and select technology for business.

The importance of independent research that covers business and IT is essential. I recently wrote about the skewed research in our industry and provided analysis about the misinformation on the projections that CMOs will outspend CIOs in technology. These situations point out the sad state of the technology analyst industry, which needs to do some serious self-policing of its actions and behavior.

At our summit I was glad to bring forward some truth about technology innovation and the priorities of business and IT. Our new business technology innovation benchmark research uncovered some stark realities about what factors are most important for organizations to consider in technology in order to improve productivity and performance. Our research found analytics to be the top-ranked priority (39%), followed by collaboration (16%), mobile technology (15%), cloud computing (13%), big data (11%) and social media (11%). Organizations are using these critical technologies to improve results, and business improvement is the top factor driving change when businesses assess new technology. Many organizations are still working to address the largest barrier in taking on new technology, which is lack of resources (51%).

I want to thanks the sponsors of the summit: IBM and SAP at the vanguard level, Ceridian and Datawatch at the pioneer level, and Peoplefluent, Planview and Saba at the ground-breaker level. I also thank the clients who over the last decade supported our mission to provide quality research and education to the industry. We also could not do this without the help of the partners who have helped us promote and syndicate our research. I thank everyone who has supported our mission to conduct research across business and IT in an independent and objective manner and provide facts and education to help advance businesses’ use of technology and gain the most value in the shortest period of time. I look forward to the next decade, and to continuing to deliver the most direct research and educational value to the market to help everyone use technology to its fullest value.


Mark Smith

CEO & Chief Research Officer

Mark Smith – Twitter

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