At AWS re:Invent 2015, Sumo Logic is excited to unveil our vision for the future of business intelligence based on machine data analytics: Continuous Intelligence. Given this milestone, I can’t help but think of a recent comment from one of our customers regarding the Sumo Logic service: “Sumo Logic, to us, is a bucket of answers to questions we don’t have yet, across systems we haven’t implemented yet, in ways we haven’t conceived.”
I couldn’t have come up with a better way to describe the new bar for business intelligence: shifting from rear-view insights to anticipating the insights to the questions not yet asked because those unknowns will make the difference between the next generation winners and losers. This is especially true as more product companies redefine themselves as service companies, reaching for a much higher standard for customer engagement and satisfaction.
Why? Because the best services do more than deliver – they anticipate the needs and wants of customers, then deliver. I’m reminded of a great quote from a movie called, Gosford Park, in which the head of a large British household shares the secret to great service, “What gift do you think a good servant has that separates them from the others? It’s the gift of anticipation . . . I’m the perfect servant. I know when they’ll be hungry, and the food is ready. I know when they’ll be tired, and the bed is turned down. I know it before they know it themselves.”
Turning the anticipated wants and needs of customers into powerful, new services is the secret sauce of what it means to truly disrupt. Companies like AWS, Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Tesla, Twitter and Uber, to name a few, did not limit themselves to the traditional “product” mentality – they reimagined entire industries, then re-architected new business models to achieve new customer experiences in the form of services via software applications. We call these companies, software-centric businesses, and they are the new architects of digital business.
Sumo Logic is one of those architects, reimagining business intelligence for software-centric business. Big data is not a new concept of course, but historically much of the talk had centered on the promise of new insights from structured data mining performed with on-premises, packaged enterprise applications. Five years ago, we anticipated a different need – as business shifts to software centricity, the volume, variety and velocity of unstructured data generating from those systems would quickly dwarf that of structured. Soon, the day would arrive in which the very idea of what constituted intelligence from the business would also shift: from rear-view insights to real-time intelligence continuously derived from real-time data streams – that is, all the unstructured and semi-structured data the software application generates because the software application is the business. Well, that day has arrived – welcome to the era of Continuous Intelligence!
Sumo Logic architected a service that anticipated this need. In doing so, we had to plan ahead for the scalability, elasticity, security, high availability, and the ability to visually execute analytics in real-time. We had to innovate ahead to address the volume, velocity and variety of data continuously because its growth is infinite. (We’re just at the beginning.) That’s the biggest reason in my mind why we built the service natively in the cloud – it was the only way to meet the anticipated data analytics demand for the continuous innovation practices of our customers – today and in the future. On-premise or single-instance cloud solutions will not keep up.
Business intelligence for the software-centric business demands continuous intelligence – anything less does not suffice. Developers need it to build and run applications; IT managers and operators need it to deploy and maintain the application infrastructure; security and compliance leaders need it to ensure application and business integrity; and business leaders need it to understand the usage patterns of their customers – all of these needs, of course, taking place in software.
For software-centric businesses, software is the life-blood of the business, while continuous intelligence enables our customers to give (and maintain) the life of their software.