AppD Summit Europe and Gartner’s UK CIO Insights

Gartner’s recently published CIO survey provides a useful set of data that puts our daily work into perspective. As I’ve done in the past, I’ll break down the regional analysis early in the calendar year. I’ve done a vertical analysis of these results in a recent blog post, CIO Insights: Gartner CIO Survey Vertical Perspectives. As the first ever AppD Summit Europe approaches, held in London May 3-4, the perspective within the UK is of particular interest. The original document may be downloaded by those with a Gartner subscription here, (2017 CIO Agenda: A U.K. and Ireland Perspective, Published: 9 February 2017 ID: G00318394). There’s much change happening in both the political and technological climates within the UK. Regardless of these challenges, the UK posted healthy growth last year. The CIO survey consists of polling of over 2,500 global CIOs, with a substantial subset of these respondents being from the UK.

General Recommendations

“Strike a balance between shaping and leading digital initiatives that are focused on the customer and growth, and those that strengthen and support the underlying business.”

Customer focus and growth are one of the largest influencers of why enterprises are moving from monitoring infrastructures to monitoring the business. If you can’t tie your IT initiatives or analytics initiatives back to the customer and the essential interactions they’re having with the application layer, there will always be a disconnect. AppDynamics is accelerating due to customers requiring both Business iQ alongside a unified monitoring approach. We have a track at the summit, “Become a Digital Game Changer“, with this advice in mind as it features speakers such as Sharon Cooper, who was voted into 3rd place in the 2016 Top 100 CIOs by CIO magazine.

Technology Investments

“Continue to upgrade and improve core systems to support digital business and digital ecosystem participation.”

Amongst UK respondents, the trends are in-line with global responses. BI analytics is cited most often for investment, followed by cloud services. Interestingly, digitization and digital marketing are the third most often cited — higher than most other geographies. Another note of observation is that infrastructure and data center investments are much lower than the global data. The meaning of that reduced spend is twofold, which is confirmed by spending data. Firstly, infrastructures have recently been updated and are current. Secondly, there’s a larger than average investment in workloads migrating to the public cloud. Both of these trends and data points reduce the need for infrastructure spending, as indicated in this figure.

At AppD Summit Europe, our “Deliver the Next-Generation Software Stack” is focused on how to improve core systems to support digital business. For example, Siemens will be discussing how to build a modern industrial IoT platform in the cloud.

Strategic Priorities

As has been the case in the last several years, the priorities have shown some interesting differences. For example, in the UK, survey data reveals that the importance of “quality/performance/market leadership” is higher than most, with a demanding and well-educated customer base that knows the competitive alternatives. Similarly, the customer focus is above and beyond top global performers for those same reasons.

Digital business is won and lost by having confident and engaging customer moments. Based on my customer interactions, this fact is very well understood by UK IT professionals, even more so than their global counterparts who often feel more disconnected from the end user. There are many sessions at AppD Summit Europe focused on this trend — for example, Barclays, in their keynote and track session, will discuss how they’ve used AppDynamics to help them monitor key customer journeys.

Bimodal Is Less Popular

Gartner describes bimodal as having two styles of work, one being predictable and slower, named mode 1. Conversely, there is an explorative and fast iterative style of work, named mode 2. In most of the world, bimodal has been increasing year over year, as covered in my previous post, CIO Insights: Gartner CIO Survey Vertical Perspectives.

Interestingly, bimodal is less popular in the UK than the rest of the world. “This is the underlying message from UK and Ireland CIOs who are reporting a lower bimodal adoption rate (34%) compared to the total survey sample (43%).” Bimodal comes with a fair share of risks alongside many critics, but it does allow change to begin to take hold.

Learn More

Hopefully, these insights into the UK are helpful, creating food for thought at the upcoming summit. I would be pleased to discuss my opinions and perspective in-person during AppD Summit Europe, in London on May 3rd. Register now for free, and we look forward to hosting you. Also please feel free to reach out on Twitter @jkowall.

CIO Insights: Gartner CIO Survey Vertical Perspectives

The Gartner perspectives on the CIO survey data always makes for great reading at the start of the year, and these documents for 2017 were published a few weeks ago. These documents are created by the lead analysts in a particular region or vertical slice, looking at the CIO survey for their coverage areas. The insights which come out are interesting in spotting key trends. As someone who’s constantly traveling and meeting AppDynamics customers and prospects, these perspectives are appreciated and useful to me. In this blog, I’ll highlight some areas of interest, and hopefully you’ll find them useful, too.

Bimodal Increasing

Bimodal is a polarizing topic on the internet, but quite normal across enterprise companies I speak with. Regardless of how you feel about its ultimate success, most are on the journey, and you can see momentum is only increasing. Based on 2017 CIO Agenda: A U.S. Perspective, 09 February 2017 ID: G00318400, bimodal has moved from 38% of companies adopting this strategy in 2016 to 43% in 2017.

Whether you agree or disagree, strategic change is happening. Change is a good thing, if we don’t experiment, we cannot adapt.

Differences Between Local, Regional, and National Governments

In the government sector there are several interesting observations by Gartner analysis of the polling data. In the document 2017 CIO Agenda: A Government PerspectivePublished: 09 February 2017 ID: G00318319, the number one business priority is technology initiatives and improvements, but the priorities after the overall improvements required vary across local, regional, or federal/national governments. 29% of local governments place customer focus as number two of their top business priorities, ahead of security at 20%. For regional governments, their top business priorities are reversed, with 24% stating that security is the number two priority, and 23% stating that customer focus is the number three priority.

At the federal or national level, digital business and security are both tied with 17% naming them in their top business priorities, but analytics is the most critical focus, with 20% of respondents naming it as a top business priority.

Federal and national budgets continue to decrease, yet 43% of defense and intelligence CIOs prioritize technology initiatives and improvements as a top priority in order to keep pace with the rapid advancements in technology.

This may continue to shift within the U.S. as federal budgets are likely to change significantly this year, especially with added investment in defense (


We’re seeing major changes in healthcare, including an increased level of digital interaction and interconnection between providers and the individuals they serve. This includes remotely accessing services and communicating with providers via portals, along with leveraging new channels such as video for patient communications. Healthcare is being changed by adding new capabilities including e-referrals, and provider care is improving by sharing EHR data across organizations. In Gartner’s research, 2017 CIO Agenda: A Healthcare PerspectivePublished: 09 February 2017 ID: G00318362 , the healthcare data is being collected and analyzed to provide better care by leveraging advanced analytics, not surprisingly the largest area of investment at (88%).

Healthcare is rife with opportunities. Firstly, improvements created by IoT provide a substantial benefit versus today’s aging protocols and technologies. Using standard web services and interoperability will allow for advanced methods of collecting data from embedded devices and sensors. IoT is a major area of investment for healthcare, which was called out by 53% of survey takers in this vertical.

Yet there is cause for concern — the data from Gartner’s survey points to healthcare lagging behind most verticals. You’ll notice in the comparative data that advanced analytics is a major area, while top performers have moved on to more advanced algorithmic use cases such as machine learning.

Over the next few months I look forward to going into depth on some other region and country-specific analysis. Specifically, I’m going to dig into some interesting insights into Canada, the Nordics, UK, and Australia and New Zealand.

Learn more

Read Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for APM to learn why AppDynamics leads in vision scoring, by providing real-time business visibility with Business iQ.