Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), a leader in software for real-time Operational Intelligence, has emerged as one of the early leaders in providing real-time data analysis and visualization capabilities. Since its founding in 2003, it has evolved from selling search appliances to selling big data analytics applications focusing on security and IT operations.
With $2.229 billion in 2021 revenue and a stock price of $156.60 per share as of September, 1st 2021, Splunk has enjoyed a meteoric rise fueled by the need to analyze large amounts of data.
The company controls an impressive 7.8 percent of the $13.3 billion IT operations Management Market (ITOM), making it the clear leader in that space. According to a Gartner report, Splunk is also a market leader in the Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Market with a 29% percent share of the $49.7 billion industry.
Splunk’s Business Strategy
Splunk operates in a highly fast-moving industry. The company continues to invest heavily in R&D to deliver new products and features that support its core differentiation: gaining operational insights from data in real-time.
To expand its product offerings and customer base, Splunk aggressively acquires companies with complementary technologies. For instance, the acquisition of TruStar in 2021, a cloud-native intelligence operation tool that helps companies gain operational insights from their cloud infrastructure, will allow Splunk to expand its product offering while also improving its cloud analytics capabilities.
In 2020, Splunk acquired Rigor, a unique Digital Experience Management tool that incorporates search and analytics capabilities with intelligent optimization engine capabilities to provide customer insights. Splunk also acquired Phantom Cyber, a cybersecurity company known for its flexibility in implementing security workflows across data sets.
Apart from strategic acquisitions, Splunk also invests in building a solid partner network. Splunk’s partner ecosystem has seen a massive expansion in the years. This ecosystem brings forth partners from across the IT, security, and analytics market. These partners extend Splunk’s reach to customers in new geographies broadening its product offerings.
The company also uses the power of branding to build strong mindshare among its customers and prospects across different industry segments. As part of this effort, it runs several global campaigns, such as the Enterprise IT Strategy Forum (EITSF) that brings CIOs, CTOs, IT Directors, Network Architects, and Security Leaders together to discuss the impact of technology on business strategy.
Splunk’s SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to a business. It is cost-effective and extremely useful for generating business insights.
- Strong international presence: Splunk has a strong presence in key markets, especially North America and Europe. With a global headcount of over 7500 employees, Splunk has a strong presence in key geographies, including the United States, Europe, and Australia. Also, the company has a significant number of customers in Asia-Pacific, especially Japan and Singapore. This international presence helps boost the company’s revenue growth.
- Strong financials: Although the company’s revenue growth has slowed down over the last two years, Splunk continues to generate healthy profits and cash flows. Its assets for 2021 were $5.86 billion, which represented a 7.89 percent increase from 2020.
- Top talent: The company has successfully established itself as a top employer in big data analytics. This has helped it attract and retain top talent from within the industry and other organizations. Splunk also leverages its top talent to expand its R&D teams in key geographies, including Australia, Singapore, and Japan.
- Strong partnerships: With a global partner base of 2000+ partners, the company has extended its product offerings and strengthened relationships with existing customers. The expansion of its partner ecosystem helps Splunk further increase its presence in the industry.
- Rented property: Splunk has concentrated most of its R&D efforts on building products built on its data indexing, search, and analytics software. This means Splunk is essentially renting out space to carry out these tasks for its direct clients. This dependence on third-party relationships creates several challenges for Splunk. The most significant disadvantage in renting out property is that the company does not control its primary production environment.
- Limited market research: Although Splunk has performed several acquisitions over the last five years, most of these deals were driven by significant growth opportunities. The lack of market research also means that Splunk may not have complete insights into its customers’ needs and preferences.
- Cloud infrastructure: With cloud computing becoming increasingly crucial for businesses, Splunk will witness significant growth in the coming years. The cloud market is one of the fastest-growing segments, and this will boost Splunk’s customer base and revenue streams.
- Increasing need for cybersecurity: With cybercrimes and breaches becoming increasingly common, companies face tough challenges protecting their data assets. As a result, they are focusing on building new security products and services to help them mitigate the overall risk. Since Splunk already has several data analytics tools at its disposal, it can leverage these to open new revenue streams in this market.
- New entrants: With the Big Data market expected to witness healthy growth in the coming years, several companies are likely to enter this space. This will intensify competition for Splunk and force it to come up with new strategies to maintain its leadership position.
- Outsourcing concerns: The growing popularity of cloud computing is forcing companies to outsource their services. Although outsourcing can help companies reduce costs, it can also threaten traditional revenue streams for Splunk. As a result, the company may have to develop new strategies to ensure its long-term position in the industry.
Splunk Competitor Analysis
Splunk competes with several Big Data players such as IBM QRadar, Rapid 7, LogRhythm, Elastic NV, and McAfee among many others. While these companies provide similar products and services to their clients, Splunk differentiates itself with its ability to provide real-time insights and analyze the aggregate of logs, network flows, and machine data from big data platforms, applications, and devices.
1. IBM QRadar
QRadar, a subsidiary of IBM, offers solutions that help enterprises analyze security information and event management (SIEM) data. Splunk is similar to QRadar in the sense that both provide an integrated solution for SIEM needs. While QRadar was developed as a true SIEM solution, Splunk takes advantage of its superior search, text analytics, and other natural language processing capabilities to add business intelligence (BI) and compliance use cases.
Although both providers offer the same core SIEM products, they differ significantly in adaptation with third-party tools and other security products. Splunk has a broad third-party security partner network, which you can use to build customized solutions for any company’s security needs. Generally, IBM Qradar works most effectively with IBM products.
According to Gartner peer insights, 85 percent of independent reviewers would recommend Splunk. Moreover, 94 percent of independent reviewers rate Splunk at least 4 out of 5 for its product capabilities and performance, compared to 84 percent for IBM’s Qradar product. Overall, both products are considered comparable by industry experts.
Founded in 2000, Rapid7 is a leading provider of security risk intelligence. It provides IT professionals with the most comprehensive view of their exposure to security risks and efficiently prioritizes their limited resources. The company has 1847 employees representing a 19.62 percent increase from 2019. It’s publicly traded under the ticker NASDAQ: RPD with a market cap of $6.876 billion as of September 2nd, 2021.
Splunk competes with Rapid7 in the Big Data security market. The two providers offer comparable products that help companies gather, analyze, and visualize machine data related to security events. Splunk has the edge over Rapid7 because of its superior search, text analytics, and other natural language processing capabilities; however, Rapid7 has several competitive advantages, including its significant market presence and strong reputation.
In 2020, Rapid7 had revenues totaling $0.411 billion, up from $0.327 billion in 2019. As of June 30th, 2021, its assets were $1.24 billion, a 44.15 percent increase year over year.
LogRhythm is an independent security information and event management (SIEM) vendor. It’s headquartered in Boulder, CO, with clients in the banking and financial services, healthcare, industrial controls, power generation/oil and gas, education, retail, government, technology, and telecom industries.
LogRhythm provides actionable intelligence to help clients prevent cyberattacks by applying machine learning, behavioral analytics, and big data technologies. LogRhythm Focuses on AI technology, particularly advanced threat protection and machine learning-based transaction analytics. However, you can also use it for root cause analysis, and security orchestration.
Splunk competes with LogRhythm in the Big Data security market. Although both providers offer similar products, Splunk has several competitive advantages over LogRhythm. For example, Splunk has the edge in end-user experience; LogRhythm’s interface can be overwhelming to IT professionals unfamiliar with SIEM technology. Additionally, Splunk provides better options to manage large data sets and historical data.
According to Gartner peer insights reports, 92 percent of independent reviewers would recommend LogRhythm with a combined rating of 4 and 5 stars compared to 94 percent recommending Splunk (with 4 or 5 stars). Overall, 82 percent of customers are satisfied with LogRhythm products, compared to 83 percent confident with Splunk.
4. Elastic NV
Elastic NV (NYSE: ESTC) is a Dutch company that provides a family of products (Elastic Stack) for next-generation analytics. It’s widely known for its Elasticsearch open-source search and analytics engine and offers the Kibana dashboard for data visualization and Beats open source log shippers. Elastic is based in Mountain View California, with offices worldwide.
Elastic provides a range of solutions that enhance an organization’s ability to detect, monitor, and protect against cyberattacks through data analytics. Elastic uses machine learning algorithms and search time series analysis to help organizations derive valuable insights from log files, events, metrics, alerts, etc.
It has a strong client base with big players like eBay, Wikipedia, Uber, Tinder, and Netflix. In addition, Elastic has a partnership with Core Security and certification from the US Department of Defense, HIPAA/HITECH Act, and FedRAMP Ready by the US GSA.
As of September 2nd, 2021, the company had a market cap of 15.03 billion. As of April 30th, 2021, its revenue was $608.49 million, up from $427.62 the previous year. Its total quarterly assets amounted to $1.520 billion over the same period, with a total long-term debt of $565.84 million.
McAfee (NASDAQ: MCFEE) is a Network Security Company headquartered in San Jose, California. It offers endpoint and cloud-based security and advanced threat protection, identity, and access management solutions for mobile devices and IT infrastructure.
Founded in 1987, McAfee has progressively evolved as a network security provider, designing and developing various products for IT security. McAfee’s offerings span the following segments: cloud-based services, endpoint solutions (endpoint protection, analytics, and control), network security (next-generation firewalls), and secure mobility (secure mobile gateways).
McAfee is a subsidiary of Intel Corporation and competes with Splunk for Big Data Security in the SIEM segment. McAfee has a good presence in the market with a strong brand name and a large customer base.
In terms of product preferences, McAfee is comparable to Splunk but with a lower customer satisfaction rate. In fact, Gartner reports that only 78 percent of independent reviewers recommend McAfee products, with 4 and 5 stars combined. This is in comparison to 83 percent of customers that are satisfied with Splunk products.
As of September 2nd, 2021, it had a market cap of $11.97 billion. McAfee’s operating revenue for 2020 was $2.906 billion, up from $2.635 billion the previous year. On the other hand, its total assets amounted to $4.51 billion over the same period, with a total long-term debt of $44.00 million.
How Splunk Stands Put Against Its Competitors
Splunk provides robust and powerful solutions to a variety of use cases. The software helps organizations collect, search, analyze and visualize machine-generated data from different sources. In addition, it has a large number of built-in modules that can be configured as per the needs of an organization, along with dashboards that provide customized views. This makes it ideal for big data analytics.
Splunk’s offerings are designed keeping in mind the various use cases of organizations, whether they are for Big Data security, IT ops management or IoT-based products. It has a strong customer base with big players like GE Healthcare, Peraton, and Boeing. In addition, Splunk is a preferred choice of the public sector with many US federal agencies as its customers.
One of its major competitive advantages is that it is easier to use and requires less training than other solutions in the market. Splunk also has a long track record of making large acquisitions and successfully integrating them.
With its wide range of features and the ease with which you can integrate the software, Splunk is a powerful solution that helps organizations derive useful insights for gaining an edge over their competitors.
Splunk Competitor Analysis (FAQs)
Question: What is the difference between QRadar and Splunk?
Answer: QRadar is IBM’s security analytics software, while Splunk Enterprise Security (ES) is Splunk’s derivative product bundles SIEM and advanced threat detection capabilities. The primary difference between the two is that QRadar is more centered on working with IBM products. At the same time, Splunk ES is more focused on providing a single solution for all data obtained from heterogeneous sources.
Question: Is Splunk the best SIEM?
Answer: Splunk is an industry-leading solution for machine data analytics and security, but it’s not the only one. Splunk ES provides SIEM capabilities and advanced threat detection, giving organizations a single platform to derive multiple insights. If insight from Gartner is anything to go by, Splunk, IBM Security (QRadar), and AlienVault are the leaders in this market.
Question: Who is Splunk’s biggest competitor?
Answer: Splunk competes in a wide range of markets. However, the company’s main competitors are IBM Security (QRadar), McAfee SIEM, AlienVault, LogRhythm, CA Technologies, HPE ArcSight, and SolarWinds.
Splunk is a powerful solution for organizations to derive useful insights. Splunk provides robust and powerful solutions to a variety of use cases. Whether they are Big Data security, IT ops management or IoT-based products. One of its significant competitive advantages is that it’s easier to use than other solutions in the market today. With its wide range of features and ease with which you can integrate the software, Splunk helps customers gain an edge over their competitors. Check out IBM’s competitor analysis here.