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Cisco’s Mission – Don’t Mess Up Splunk

Cisco’s Mission - Don’t Mess Up Splunk

The News: At .conf24, Splunk unveiled advanced AI enhancements aimed at improving observability, security, and IT Service Intelligence. These new features are designed to streamline operations, enhance threat mitigation, and boost IT visibility for organizations. Read the announcement here.

Cisco’s Mission – Don’t Mess Up Splunk

Analyst Take: The tech world has been buzzing since Cisco completed its acquisition of Splunk just 10 weeks ago. This strategic move has been widely discussed among industry analysts and stakeholders, given its potential to reshape the landscape of cybersecurity and observability. Cisco, known for its robust networking and security solutions, has now significantly bolstered its portfolio by incorporating Splunk’s powerful data analytics and observability capabilities.

During the announcement on the main stage at Cisco’s recent event, Chuck Robbins, the CEO of Cisco, addressed a packed audience, stating emphatically, “We are not going to mess up Splunk.” His words were met with rapturous applause, reflecting the audience’s confidence and optimism about the merger. This statement was pivotal, as it acknowledged concerns while reinforcing Cisco’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the core strengths of Splunk. The promise of maintaining Splunk’s innovation and independence under Cisco’s broader umbrella has been a key reassurance for customers and partners alike.

The market has been closely monitoring the integration process, with high expectations. Cisco’s track record of successfully integrating acquired companies and its extensive resources suggests a promising future for Splunk. This acquisition is seen as a bold step toward creating a more unified and comprehensive platform that addresses the growing demands for cybersecurity and operational visibility in an increasingly complex digital landscape.

What Was Announced?

During the conference, Splunk unveiled a suite of new AI tools designed to enhance its product offerings significantly. These announcements showcased the company’s commitment to leveraging AI to improve IT visibility, threat mitigation, and operational efficiency.

AI Assistants in Observability Cloud and Security – Splunk introduced generative AI-powered Assistants in its Observability Cloud and Security platforms. These tools are designed to help users streamline detection, investigation, and response workflows. The AI Assistant in Observability Cloud, currently in private preview, offers a natural language interface to analyze metrics, traces, and logs. This feature is particularly beneficial for software developers and Site Reliability Engineers (SREs), enabling them to quickly extract valuable insights and resolve issues with less expertise required.

Splunk AI Assistant for SPL – The Splunk AI Assistant for SPL, now generally available, bridges the gap between human intuition and machine-driven analytics. It allows analysts to interact with Splunk’s data analytics platform using natural language, making it easier to execute complex analyses and understand existing queries. This tool enhances analyst productivity and decision-making effectiveness, empowering organizations to optimize data analysis and incident response.

IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) Enhancements – Splunk also announced new AI capabilities for its ITSI platform. The Configuration Assistant, which leverages advanced AI and machine learning, helps manage and optimize configurations by providing insights into the health of ITSI knowledge objects. Additionally, new features such as Drift Detection for KPIs and entity-level Adaptive Thresholds are in public preview. These tools help users spot potential issues early and create dynamic baselines for more accurate anomaly detection.

These announcements underscore Splunk’s dedication to advancing its AI capabilities, providing users with innovative tools to enhance their digital resilience and operational efficiency.

Looking Ahead

The trajectory of Splunk under Cisco’s stewardship appears promising, especially given Cisco’s commitment to not disrupt Splunk’s innovative spirit. One of the key highlights of this integration is the seamless merging of AppDynamics and Splunk Observability Cloud. This integration aims to provide a unified platform for monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing IT environments, offering customers unparalleled visibility and control over their digital operations.

Cisco’s plans for ThousandEyes are set to further enhance its observability suite. By integrating ThousandEyes’ internet and cloud intelligence capabilities with Splunk’s robust data analytics platform, Cisco aims to deliver comprehensive insights across the entire digital supply chain. This integration will empower organizations to proactively manage and mitigate disruptions, ensuring seamless digital experiences for their users.

A significant insight from a customer panel at the conference came from Progressive. They emphasized that the true value of AI lies in “Assisted Intelligence” rather than “Artificial Intelligence.” This perspective resonates strongly with the SRE teams facing alert fatigue. Progressive highlighted how AI tools can assist in managing the overwhelming volume of alerts, allowing teams to focus on more strategic tasks. By providing contextual insights and actionable recommendations, AI-driven tools can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations without replacing human expertise.

Looking ahead, the collaboration between Cisco and Splunk is expected to drive significant advancements in the field of cybersecurity and observability. The combined strengths of both companies position them to address the evolving challenges of digital transformation, offering robust solutions that enhance operational resilience and security.

The integration of Splunk into Cisco’s ecosystem is poised to deliver innovative solutions that meet the growing demands of today’s digital enterprises. With a clear focus on leveraging AI to enhance IT visibility, streamline operations, and mitigate threats, Cisco and Splunk are well positioned to lead the market in cybersecurity and observability. As the industry looks forward to these developments, the promise of a more resilient and secure digital future becomes increasingly attainable.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

At The Futurum Group, Paul Nashawaty, Practice Leader and Lead Principal Analyst, specializes in application modernization across build, release and operations. With a wealth of expertise in digital transformation initiatives spanning front-end and back-end systems, he also possesses comprehensive knowledge of the underlying infrastructure ecosystem crucial for supporting modernization endeavors. With over 25 years of experience, Paul has a proven track record in implementing effective go-to-market strategies, including the identification of new market channels, the growth and cultivation of partner ecosystems, and the successful execution of strategic plans resulting in positive business outcomes for his clients.

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