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New Research Finds Public Sector Organizations Challenged by IT System Complexity and Limited Resources

Half of Public Sector IT Professionals Feel New IT Paradigms Are Adding Complexity to Their Organization

TYSONS CORNER and SAN FRANCISCO  – August 29, 2016 – Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, today announced results of a new survey from Clarus Research Group. Despite rapid adoption of new technologies to improve operations, the survey found half of public sector IT professionals (51 percent) feel new IT technology paradigms, such as cloud and DevOps, are adding complexity to their organization rather than simplifying operations. The survey, which was underwritten by Splunk, polled IT decision makers and influencers in federal and state local government, and education.

The findings also reveal that lack of resources remains a substantial problem for public sector. Selected by nearly half (44 percent) of respondents, public sector IT professionals cited insufficient IT resources (i.e. budget and personnel) as the biggest risk to their organization or agency over the next year.

While 71 percent of public sector IT professionals agree insights from IT data are important to their organization, the combination of increased complexity, limited resources and continued use of manual processes is making it difficult for public sector organizations to gain valuable insights from their IT data and achieve greater visibility into systems. Additional findings include:

  • Lack of funding and budget constraints was selected by close to half (45 percent) of respondents as the top difficulty in managing IT operations. 
  • Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) say complexity of IT systems and technology is a top difficulty in managing IT operations.
  • More than half (53 percent) of public sector IT decision makers feel their organization does not have end-to-end visibility across IT systems to foresee issues ahead of time, which often results in operational inefficiencies, delays and waste.
  • Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents revealed their organization is still using manual processes to gather information to solve issues and 58 percent admitted their troubleshooting is manual and ad hoc. Nearly half (48 percent) also say they either don’t have or don’t know if they have the ability to pinpoint problems because their systems are managed in silos.

For a complete look at all the findings, including breakdowns within federal, state and local government and education, visit the Splunk website.

“These survey results show a tremendous opportunity for public sector leaders. However, it’s also abundantly clear that most of public sector is dealing with increasingly complex IT systems that are hurting organizations’ ability to respond quickly to issues and limiting their visibility across agencies and programs,” said Kevin Davis, vice president of Public Sector, Splunk. “As public sector starts determining budgets for the new fiscal year, it will be critically important for these organizations to invest in technologies that give them a holistic view and insights into their IT operations environments.”  

Data Formats and Ingestion

IT data formats and ingestion is another obstacle public sector organizations face when trying to gain insights. According to the survey, half (50 percent) of public sector IT pros say data in different formats or types has been a problem when trying to diagnose IT issues, and 40 percent agreed that data ingestion and normalization is cumbersome and tedious. These challenges are undoubtedly affecting organizations’ abilities to be operationally and financially efficient. The vast amount of data and formats available make it difficult for public sector organizations to determine where to start and what is relevant to the problem.  

New Technologies to Meet Modern Challenges

The survey also revealed the IT technologies that public sector organizations will expand use of over the next few years. Server monitoring and analytics (74 percent) and network infrastructure monitoring analytics (71 percent) were the top IT solutions decision makers expect to expand more. In addition, nearly seven in 10 public sector IT pros (69 percent) said they expect to see use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions increase, including nearly nine of 10 (87 percent) federal national security respondents. 


Clarus Research Group surveyed 634 federal, state and local government and higher education IT decision makers. The survey was conducted on behalf of Splunk through online interviews in May 2016. 

About Splunk Inc.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) is the market-leading platform that powers Operational Intelligence. We pioneer innovative, disruptive solutions that make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone. More than 11,000 customers in over 110 countries use Splunk software and cloud services to make business, government and education more efficient, secure and profitable. Join hundreds of thousands of passionate users by trying Splunk solutions for free:

Splunk>, Listen to Your Data, The Engine for Machine Data, Hunk, Splunk Cloud, Splunk Light, SPL and Splunk MINT are trademarks and registered trademarks of Splunk Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective owners. © 2016 Splunk Inc. All rights reserved.

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