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Posts from the ‘Gartner’ Category

Roundup of Big Data Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012

From the best-known companies in enterprise software to start-ups, everyone is jumping on the big data bandwagon.

The potential of big data to bring insights and intelligence into enterprises is a strong motivator, where managers are constantly looking for the competitive edge to win in their chosen  markets.  With so much potential to provide enterprises with enhanced analytics, insights and intelligence, it is understandable why this area has such high expectations – and hype – associated with it.

Given the potential big data has to reorder an enterprise and make it more competitive and profitable, it’s understandable why there are so many forecasts and market analyses being done today.  The following is a roundup of the latest big data forecasts and market estimates recently published:

  • As of last month, Gartner had received 12,000 searches over the last twelve months for the term “big data” with the pace increasing.
  • In Hype Cycle for Big Data, 2012, Gartner states that Column-Store DBMS, Cloud Computing, In-Memory Database Management Systems will be the three most transformational technologies in the next five years.  Gartner goes on to predict that Complex Event Processing, Content Analytics, Context-Enriched Services, Hybrid Cloud Computing, Information Capabilities Framework and Telematics round out the technologies the research firm considers transformational.  The Hype Cycle for Big Data is shown below:

  • Predictive modeling is gaining momentum with property and casualty (P&C) companies who are using them to support claims analysis, CRM, risk management, pricing and actuarial workflows, quoting, and underwriting. Web-based quoting systems and pricing optimization strategies are benefiting from investments in predictive modeling as well.   The Priority Matrix for Big Data, 2012 is shown below:

  • Social content is the fastest growing category of new content in the enterprise and will eventually attain 20% market penetration.   Gartner defines social content as unstructured data created, edited and published on corporate blogs, communication and collaboration platforms, in addition to external platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and a myriad of others.
  • Gartner reports that 45% as sales management teams identify sales analytics as a priority to help them understand sales performance, market conditions and opportunities.
  • Over 80% of Web Analytics solutions are delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  Gartner goes on to estimate that over 90% of the total available market for Web Analytics are already using some form of tools and that Google reported 10 million registrations for Google Analytics alone.  Google also reports 200,000 active users of their free Analytics application.  Gartner also states that the majority of the customers for these systems use two or more Web analytics applications, and less than 50% use the advanced functions including data warehousing, advanced reporting and higher-end customer segmentation features.
  • In the report Market Trends: Big Data Opportunities in Vertical Industries, the following heat map by industry shows that from a volume of data perspective, Banking and Securities, Communications, Media and Services, Government, and Manufacturing and Natural Resources have the greatest potential opportunity for Big Data.

  • Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity is available for download from the McKinsey Global Institute for free.  This is 156 page document authored by McKinsey researchers is excellent.  While it was published last year (June, 2011), if you’re following big data, download a copy as much of the research is still relevant.  McKinsey includes extensive analysis of how big data can deliver value in a manufacturing value chains for example, which is shown below:

The Marketing of Cloud Multitenancy: How Early Adopters Are Killing The Hype

It’s impressive how quickly the teams evaluating CRM cloud-based applications are learning how to deflate the hype surrounding multitenancy.

One gets the impression that hype-hunting has now become a sport in these teams.  In engineering-centric companies it’s a badge of honor to find out just how multitenant a cloud-based application or platform is.  Multitenancy isn’t the only area they are looking at, but given the massive amount of hype surrounding this issue on the part of vendors, it generates more attention because evaluation teams are skeptical.

Teams evaluating CRM applications aren’t satisfied with an easily customized and used graphical interface or series of workflows, they are getting more interested in the architecture itself .  In some cases they’ve been burned by claims of an application being SaaS-based when in fact the architecture is a glorified series of Citrix-like sessions running in the background or worse.  I have seen a healthy amount of skepticism in the evaluations going on right now and recently completed of SaaS applications and entire cloud platforms.  Gartner’s inquiry calls from corporate accounts must be accelerating as their clients look for guidance on how to sort out the multitenancy hype.

CRM, Multitenancy and the Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing

Gartner’s search analytics show that cloud computing and related terms had 29,998 searches in the last twelve months with cloud computing alone generating 10,062 searches.  SaaS and related terms had a search volume of 19,000.  These terms are among the most popular across all Gartner search terms for the last twelve months.  In comparison, CRM had over 42,000 searches in the same period.

It’s in this area of CRM applications where multitenancy has gone into hype overdrive. Looking for differentiators, some CRM vendors are claiming not just multitenancy – but their specific brand of it.  This confuses their prospects, which immediately energizes evaluation teams to do a more thorough job than they have ever done before.  By claiming their own type of multitenancy, CRM vendors are ironically not just slowing down their own sales cycles, they are making the entire industry slow down.  No wonder Gartner places multitenancy along the Peak of Inflated Expectations in the latest Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing which is shown below.

Making Sense of Elasticity and Multitenancy

It’s paradoxical that enterprise software vendors, especially those selling SaaS-based CRM applications,  are attempting to turn multitenancy into a differentiator.  What is needed is a greater focus on usability, flexibility in aligning workflows to specific needs, and better enterprise integration technologies.  Sell the value not the product features.

Given the confusion differentiating on multitenancy is creating and the calls Gartner is getting on this issue, they published Gartner Reference Model for Elasticity and Multitenancy.  It includes what Gartner believes a cloud services provider must implement in terms of a multitenant service in addition to what SaaS-based applications need to provide.  Here are their checklists for each area:

Multitenancy Service Requirements for Cloud Services Providers

  • Isolation of tenant data
  • Isolation of the tenant workspace (memory)
  • Isolation of tenant execution characteristics (performance and availability)
  • Tenant-aware security, monitoring, management, reporting and self-service administration
  • Isolation of tenant customizations and extensions to business logic
  • Continuous, tenant-aware version control
  • Tenant-aware error tracking and recovery
  • Tracking and recording of resources use per tenant
  • The ability to allocate resources to tenants dynamically, as needed and based on policy Horizontal scalability to support real-time addition/removal of tenant resources, tenants or users without interruptions to the running environment

Multitenancy in Cloud Application Services (Software as a Service) Applications

  • Be available 24/7, because of the potential global user base
  • Adopt new versions without disrupting the continuous operations of tenants, and preserve user customizations
  • Scale up or down on demand
  • Allow individual rollback and restore for each tenant
  • Not allow a “noisy neighbor” tenant to affect the performance of other tenants, or increase their costs
  • Be accessible from various locations, devices and software architectures to meet potentially global demand
  • Offer tenant-aware self-service

Gartner also released their Reference Architecture for Multitenancy, which is shown below.  One of the key assumptions of this model is that multitenancy is a mode of operation where multiple, independent and secured instances of applications run in a shared environment.  The model includes the seven different models of multitenancy Gartner has seen in their research.  These seven models, listed across the top of the model beginning with Shared Nothing and progressing to Custom Multitenancy are across the top of the model.

The majority of enterprises I’ve worked with are looking to the Shared Hardware approach in an attempt to create backward compatibility to their legacy applications via Virtual Machines. Another area of interest is the Shared Container approach which relies on a separate logical or physical instance of a DBMS, and often isolates its own business logic.  This is ideal for distributed order management systems and SaaS-based ERP systems for example.  Yet the legacy application support in this type of multitenancy can get expensive fast.

Shared Everything Multitenancy is ideal for quickly on-ramping and off-ramping applications, tenants and individual system users and is what nearly all enterprise vendors claim to do.  In reality only a handful do this well.  This approach to multitenancy is based on the Shared Container approach including support for shared DBMS sessions.  Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform, VMWare WaveMaker and Zoho Creator are all examples of companies who have successfully delivered Shared Everything multitenancy.

With so much to gain by positioning an application or solution suite in the 6th and 7th models, vendors are rushing to define their own versions of Shared Everything and Custom Multitenancy.  The land grab is on in this area of the multitenancy market right now.  IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are all expected to endorse and eventually have many of their cloud-based applications in the Shared Everything model.  Each of these companies and many others will have a multi-model based approach to selling multitenancy as well.

Gartner Reference Model for Elasticity and Multitenancy

Source:  Gartner Reference Model for Elasticity and Multitenancy

Bottom line: Enterprise software vendors can accelerate evaluation cycles and sell more by differentiating on the user experience and value delivered instead of trying to create fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) by creating their own definition of multitenancy.

Gartner Releases Hype Cycle for Networking and Communications, 2011

It is ironic that a framework meant to define the relative level of hype associated with new technologies adds in seven new ones, an increase of 20% within just a year.

Are all those technologies really significant enough to be included in a framework whose purpose is to cut through hype?   With less than 1% adoption throughout enterprises for over 50% of these technologies, it may be time for a more rigorous screening process.

After reading this Hype Cycle several dominant themes emerge. They include modernization of IT infrastructure to support greater scalability and security, consolidation of IT hardware investments, recognition of hybrid clouds being a central part of networking strategies, and location-based technologies having the potential to re-define logistics, supply chain and customer service strategies.  That’s a lot of ground to cover in a single Hype Cycle, and to be fair, Gartner says this is an aggregated view of the market.  Yet there is still the issue of technologies being included that have not shown any real value to enterprises yet.

Presented below is the Hype Cycle for Networking and Communications, 2011 and key take-aways.

Source:  2011 Gartner, Inc.  Hype Cycle for Networking and Communications, 2011 David A. Willis, Publication Date: 24 August 2011 ID Number: G00216400

Key Take-Aways:

  • Gartner is predicting the technologies that will experience the fastest growth include Virtual I/O, Gigabit Ethernet, Long-Distance Live Virtual Machine Migration, Energy Efficient Ethernet,  Context Delivery Architecture, and Video Telepresence.
  • Hosted Virtual Desktops, OpenFlow (technology also known of as software-defined networking (SDN), Transcoderless and Software-Based Videoconferencing Infrastructures, Mobile Enterprise Applications via SaaS, 802.11ad (Wi-Fi at multi-Gigabit speeds) , 802.16-2009 (consolidates dated WiMAX standards) and Mobile Satellite Services are the latest technologies Gartner has added to this Hype Cycle.  Of these, Mobile Enterprise Applications with SaaS have the most significant potential effect on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) on CRM and customer-facing enterprise applications.  None of these have greater than 1% adoption in the enterprise today however.
  • Gartner is projecting over 1B smartphones and media tablets will be sold globally by 2015.  This explosive growth is forcing enterprises to react much faster than they initially expected to mobile security, mobile device management, and application support is an essential services.  A recent survey completed by Gartner indicates that CIOs fully expect to support up to three mobile operating systems by 2012 and that 20% of devices will be employee-owned by that year.  Presented below is their forecast for smartphones and media tablets through 2015. The following forecast is from their report, Emerging Technology Analysis: Mobile Business Intelligence, 13 July 2011, ID:G00214124 by Bhavish Sood, Andreas Bitterer, James Richardson.
Worldwide Smartphone and Media Tablet Shipments, 2010-2015
  • Mobile Enterprise Applications via SaaS will see the greatest growth in vertical or specialized and Small & Medium Business (SMB) segments.  It is evident from their analysis that TCO estimates may confuse enterprise buyers into thinking initial set-up costs for SaaS will lead to a lower price than licensed, premise-based applications.  This will not always be the case despite the hype around SaaS economics today.  This Hype Cycle could have been stronger and more prescriptive for enterprise IT buyers by discussing SaaS economics in greater detail.
  • Gartner goes into great depth on location-aware technology yet doesn’t make that convincing of a connection to enterprise-level strategies, initiatives and programs.  There is much technological discussion on GPS, assisted GPS (A-GPS), Wi-Fi, Enhanced Observed Time Difference (E-OTD) and Enhanced GPS (E-GPS) yet hardly any analysis of how this fits into the enterprise.
  • Gartner sees the majority of enterprise cloud-based systems being hybrid.  The Hype Cycle provides a glimpse into private and public clouds being integrated together for workload sharing.  There needs to be more focus on how this will work for a business process standpoint to be of value however.
  • Mobile consumer application platforms (MCAPs) will increasingly become multi-platform based.  Gartner is predicting that Messaging-Based, Browser-Based, Thick Clients/Rich Clients and Streaming Audio/Video will dominate consumer application platforms within the next two years.  They also see this area as the most transformational of all technologies analyzed in the Hype Cycle.

Bottom line: The best way to deflate hype in any industry is to insist on real, measurable results.  From choosing communications and networking solutions to including nascent technologies in a research framework, results attained by real customers are all that really matter.

SaaS-based Analytics and Business Intelligence Market Update, August 2011

Challenging, uncertain economic times accelerate sales cycles and lead to more closed deals for business intelligence software providers.  Companies get an urgency to reduce costs and risks, relying on the insights gained from these applications.

There’s an interesting dichotomy starting to emerge in how experts and analysts define just how these markets will mature however.  Both agree that economic uncertainty are growth catalysts yet they diverge on adoption rates, roadblocks, and which analytics and BI technology will dominate in the years ahead.

This week I read Balancing Custom And Packaged Apps In Your Application Portfolio Strategy by George Lawrie, Mike Gilpin and Adam Knoll from Forrester and the latest Hype Cycle of Business Intelligence, 2011 by a collection of Gartner authors led by Andreas Bitterer.  I’ve summarized the key points of each below.

Forrester Sees SaaS Applications Overtaking Custom Application Development

Forrester sees SaaS-based applications starting to replace in-house custom application development, gathering momentum through 2013.  Gartner, with their Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence, 2011 just released this week, shows BI platforms having greater near-term benefit than SaaS-based analytics and BI.  Custom application development projects are going to face continued pressure to keep up with business requirements that SaaS applications are proving able to handle more effectively and economically than ever before.

In-house development makes more sense for specific analytics and reporting requirements,  yet will continually be eroded by SaaS-based applications that can meet most requirements at a lower cost.  Forrester has in the past said SaaS-based adoption of analytics applications in general and predictive applications specifically would be very slow due to data integration challenges.  This study points to a potential shift in their mindset, as the data shows SaaS-based analytics beginning to replace custom in-house developed applications.

Here are the key take-aways from the report:

  • Analytics processes are supported 79% of the time with custom application development.  Procure-to-pay (33%) and record-to-report (33%) are the second-most supported.  Multiple responses were allowed in the survey.
  • When asked which process areas they are automating with SaaS, analytics (33%), record-to-report (18%), order-to-cash  (15%), and purchase-to-pay (12%) were the most common responses.  There was a small sample size on the Forrester report and the most startling insight was how quickly respondent companies plan to migrate from custom application development to SaaS-based analytics and BI.
  • Nearly 50% of the respondents to the Forrester survey have between five and 19 SaaS-based applications today with 18% expecting to have 35 or more by 2013.  In addition 63% of respondents expect to deploy between five and 34 SaaS-based applications by 2013, a significant shift in just two years.
  • 36% of survey respondents say their  SaaS applications run completely standalone.  Another 36% mention they use a combination of on-premises Master Data Management (MDM) and process integration tools.  Ironically only 3% are deploying their applications on cloud-based MDM or process integration-based platforms.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence, 2011

Unlike the hype cycle for cloud computing, this hype cycle has fewer technology categories (25), a narrative firmly grounded in business process and strategy, and more practical and pragmatic insights versus just theoretical.  At 50 pages it’s  quick read and while there are many excellent points made, I have summarized the key take-aways pertaining to the highest hype points and SaaS adoption below:

  • Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) is the latest entry to the Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence based on the massive hype around analyzing locational and application data.  The hype surrounding the Apple iPad Series, Google Android and other tablet and smartphone platforms has made this one of the most hyped areas of the last year according to the analysis.
  • Consumerization, Decision Support, analysis of non-traditional data and “Big Data” are the areas of the greatest innovation today.  The hype cycle points to search, mobile, visualization and data discovery being the catalyst of Consumerization.  Predictive analytics, which is on the Slope of Enlightenment on this latest hype cycle, is critical to decision support.  The non-traditional and “Big Data” area of innovation is further supported by content, text analytics, in-memory DBMSs and columnar DBMSs.
  • SaaS-based Business Intelligence is at the apex of the Peak of Inflated Expectations yet will continue to have low adoption rates.  Gartner believes that the  lack of trust in third parties managing confidential data, and the inertia and fear many companies have in moving to a new architecture are slowing adoption.  This is in contrast to the survey Forrester released this week showing analytics being one of the most popular SaaS-based applications planned by 2013 in their base of respondents.
  • Gartner sees SaaS-based Business Intelligence of the most value to midsize and smaller organizations who lack IT staff yet have very specific, targeted information needs.  Website analytics, social media monitoring, dashboards, predictive analytics and Excel as a BI front-end all apply.  Both Forrester and Gartner agree on this point and see this type of custom development going away quickly internally.
  • There is a massive amount of hype surrounding in-memory computing, particularly from SAP at its Sapphire conferences .  Gartner believes that SAP’s vision of in-memory computing exceeds  in-memory analytics to include analytical and transactional processing.  As a result, In-Memory Database Management Systems are at the Peak of Inflated Expectations.


Source: Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence, 2011, Published 12 August 2011 | ID:G00216086 By Andreas Bitterer.  Gartner, Inc.

What Both Agree On

Forrester’s survey shows SaaS eventually replacing custom application development while Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence shows the practical, pragmatic technologies including dashboards, predictive analytics combined with the more complex Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), Business Intelligence Platforms, and Data-Mining Workbenches delivering the most value.  Despite these differences, both agree on the following:

  • The overall market for BI, Analytics and Performance Management continues to grow at between 8 to 12% per year depending on the forecast used.  The following forecast is from the report  Market Trends: Business Intelligence, Worldwide, 2011-2014, 7 June 2011 | ID:G00213483 by Dan Sommer and James Richardson.
Source: Market Trends: Business Intelligence, Worldwide, 2011-2014, 7 June 2011 | ID:G00213483 by Dan Sommer and James Richardson
  • 2011 continues to see large, strategic deals for analytics and BI closing more rapidly than they have in the past.
  • SaaS-based analytics and BI continues to gain a greater share of spending in midsize and smaller companies.  Both also agree that the proliferation of smaller SaaS-based analytics and Bi vendors concentrating on a specific niche have successfully displaced in-house custom development of competitive applications.  Trust in the smaller vendor, their track record, customer references and financial viability are what are winning deals for SaaS-based analytics and BI software providers today.
  • The market transition from build to buy is now in full force as budgets become available again.  This is key assumption of both analyses and means that smaller, more niche-oriented SaaS-based analytics and BI vendors stand a chance to get new reference accounts and grow, despite a challenging economy.

Gartner Search Analytics Shows Spike in Platform as a Service (PaaS) Inquiries in 2011

Trends of search terms from user accounts and topics of their inquiries form the catalyst of research agendas in many IT advisory firms.  At Gartner these two factors and others like them are commonly regarded as leading indicators of future IT spending.

Gartner has been delivering short analyses of these subject areas to clients in the form of reports, with the latest being Search Analytics Trends: Platform as a Service published on June 9, 2011.  This report covers user search activity from April, 2009 to March, 2011. For purposes of the report, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is defined as cloud application infrastructure services delivered as a service.  Gartner makes the point that PaaS includes no traditional software license and is expensed on a metered or utility basis.  Presented below is the time series of searches by month from the report.

A few key take-aways emerge from the report, and they are presented below:

  • Cloud Middleware Services including Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) are still unknown to many Gartner IT user clients.  As a result this area is seen with skepticism by many of their clients.  In studies of PaaS adoption from other analysts at Gartner and Forrester, it is evident that internal software development will make or break the credibility of PaaS initiatives for the long-term.
  • When Gartner IT users search for PaaS on the website and throughout online research, the four most common secondary terms are IaaS and SaaS (7.05%), Magic Quadrant (6.12%) and cloud (5.72%).  Clearly Gartner IT user clients are looking to define their own technology stack in this area and looking for a framework of reference of where PaaS fits into their own IT plans and architectures.  The competitive intensity across the analyst community will most likely go up as a result of the uncertainty many IT buyers have over PaaS.
  • The top three vendors that Gartner IT users search for are Microsoft (18%), Amazon (13%) and Tata (11%).  Additional vendors include IBM (11%), Salesforce.com (11%), SAP (7%), Google and Oracle (4%).

Bottom line: The key to PaaS adoption in larger enterprises, many of which are IT user clients of Gartner, is how successfully Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) clarify their value proposition and how their apps add value to the platform layer.

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