To gain a better understanding of the adoption and usage of machine data in Europe, Sumo Logic commissioned 451 Research to survey 250 executives across the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, and to compare this data with a previous survey of U.S. respondents that were asked the same questions.
The research set out to answer a number of questions, including: Is machine data in fact an important source of fuel in the analytics economy? Do businesses recognize the role machine data can play in driving business intelligence? Are businesses that recognize the power of machine data leaders in their fields?
The report, “Using Machine Data Analytics to Gain Advantage in the Analytics Economy, the European Edition,” released at DockerCon Europe in Barcelona this week, reveals that companies in the U.S. are currently more likely to use and understand the value of machine data analytics than their European counterparts, but that Europeans lead the U.S. in using machine data for security use cases.
Europeans Trail US in Recognizing Value of Machine Data Analytics
Let’s dig deeper into the stats regarding U.S. respondents that stated they were more likely to use and understand the value of machine data analytics. For instance, 36 percent of U.S. respondents have more than 100 users interacting with machine data at least once a week, while in Europe, only 21 percent of respondents have that many users. Likewise, 64 percent of U.S. respondents said that machine data is extremely important to their company’s ability to meet its goals, with 54 percent of European respondents saying the same. When asked if machine data tools are deployed on-premises, only 48 percent of European correspondents responded affirmatively, compared to 74 percent of U.S. respondents.
The gap might be explained by idea that U.S. businesses are more likely to have a software-centric mindset. According to the data, 64 percent of U.S. respondents said most of their company had software-centric mindsets, while only 40 percent of European respondents said the same. Software-centric businesses are more likely to recognize that machine data can deliver critical insights, from both an operational and business perspective, as they are more likely to integrate their business intelligence and machine data analytics tools. Software-centric companies are also more likely to say that a wide variety of users, including head of IT, head of security, line-of-business users, product managers and C-level executives recognize the business value of machine data.
Europeans Lead US in Using Machine Data for Security
At 63 percent, European companies lead the way in recognising the benefit of machine data analytics in security use cases, which is ahead of the U.S. Given strict data privacy regulations in Europe, including the new European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it only seems natural that security is a significant driver for machine data tools in the region.
Business Insight Recognized by Europeans as Valuable
Beyond security, other top use cases cited for machine data in Europe are monitoring (55 percent), troubleshooting (48 percent) and business insight (48 percent). This means Europeans are clearly recognizing the value of machine data analytics beyond the typical security, monitoring and troubleshooting use-cases — they’re using it as a strategic tool to move the business forward. When IT operations teams have better insight into business performance, they are better equipped to prioritize incident response and improve their ability to support business goals.
A Wide Array of European Employees in Different Roles Use Machine Data Analytics
The data further show that, in addition to IT operations teams, a wide array of employees in other roles commonly use machine data analytics. Security analysts, product managers and data analysts — some of whom may serve lines of business or senior executives — all appeared at the top of the list of the roles using machine data analytics tools. The finding emphasizes that companies recognize the many ways that machine data can drive intelligence across the business.
Customer Experience and Product Development Seen as Most Beneficial to Europeans
Although security emerged as an important priority for users of machine data, improved customer experience and more efficient product development emerged as the top benefit of machine data analytics tools. Businesses are discovering that the machine analytic tools they use to improve their security posture can also drive value in other areas, including better end-user experiences, more efficient and smarter product development, optimized cloud and infrastructure spending, and improved sales and marketing performance.
Barriers Preventing Wider Usage of Machine Data
The report also provided insight into the barriers preventing wider usage of machine data analytics. The number one capability that users said was lacking in their existing tools was real-time access to data (37 percent), followed by fast, ad hoc querying (34 percent). Another notable barrier to broader usage is the lack of capabilities to effectively manage different machine data analytics tools.
European respondents also stated that the adoption of modern technologies does make it harder to get the data they need for speedy decision-making (47 percent). Whilst moving to microservices and container-based architectures like Docker makes it easier to deploy at scale, it seems it is hard to effectively monitor activities over time without the right approach to logs and metrics in place.
Europe is adopting modern tools and technologies at a slower rate than their U.S. counterparts, and fewer companies currently have a ‘software-led’ mindset in place. Software-centric businesses are doing more than their less advanced counterparts to make the most out of the intelligence available to them in machine data analytics tools.
However, a desire for more continuous insights derived from machine data is there: the data show is that once European organisations start using machine data analytics to gain visibility into their security operations, they start to see the value for other use cases across operations, development and the business. The combination of customer experience and compliance with security represent strong value for European users of machine data analytics tools. Users want their machine data tools to drive even more insight into the customer experience, which is increasingly important to many businesses, and at the same time help ensure compliance.