Like Malcolm Gladwell, Splunk Cloud Helps You See Things Others Don’t

As I’m sitting in my home office, I glance over at my credenza and I spy the Malcolm Gladwell non-fiction book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.”  I’m a big Gladwell fan.  While I enjoy how he uses powerful story-telling to reshape the way we think about life and the world around us, I also like how he uses research and data to make discoveries many of us might miss.  Much like the capabilities offered to companies through Splunk software, Gladwell inspires me to dig deeper and look at things from a different perspective.


The premise of Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” book is the Old Testament account about the shepherd boy who takes down a giant warrior using nothing more than a slingshot and a pebble. Gladwell delves deeply into the psychology and mindset of the modern-day underdog who beats the odds, and what happens when ordinary people confront powerful opponents of all kinds.  Using research and data, Gladwell hypothesizes that what may appear to be a disadvantage can often be the key to triumph.  My mind drifts from Gladwell’s theory to the original Old Testament parable and how both are very relatable to business and technology today.

I think about David and his slingshot.  David, the boy, is an unlikely candidate in the battle against the giant, but he beats the odds not by his physical strength but through mental fortitude.  He is passionate, resourceful and strategic – which are all key ingredients to winning in the business world. Successful organizations rely on instinct and intellect to build or buy ‘weapons’ that will give them a competitive advantage.  These days, the weapons are usually in the form of technology – the great equalizer.  If used right, technology can quickly level the playing field.

This thinking brings me right back to data – or, more specifically, the technology that can uncover the data.  Like Gladwell, we love data.  In fact, at Splunk we know the power of machine data – all the data that’s generated by the machines we use – and we’ve built advanced software that can index and analyze it all. It’s becoming a critical weapon in the business arsenal because it shows us what we’ve been missing and allows us to see things with a new perspective.

What’s even more exciting is that the David’s of the business world can now harness the power of Splunk analytics software with even greater ease and fewer resources by deploying Splunk Cloud.  With Splunk Cloud, organizations gain the same valuable benefits of Splunk Enterprise, but in a software-as-a-service model.  Splunk Cloud is like the slingshot and the pebble –very simple and easy to use at first glance, but quite powerful when it’s put into the right hands.

Orrstown Bank is a great example of a ‘David’ taking on some powerful opponents in the financial arena.  This East Coast community bank greatly fortified its security and customer experience by using Splunk Cloud as its security intelligence platform.  In addition to helping Orrstown Bank secure its hybrid cloud and on-premises environment, Splunk Cloud enables the bank to continuously improve reliability and cut costs in IT operations. The bank uses its technology like the stone David wielded against the great warrior-giant.

Splunk Cloud was designed to help organizations in their quest to compete and win.  Like the rudimentary slingshot, Splunk Cloud isn’t complex, it isn’t more expensive, and it doesn’t require a lot of people to make it powerful.  Similar to David, the team at Orrstown Bank had passionate intent to come out on top using a weapon with precise aim against the most powerful cyber threats.  Splunk Cloud is their key to triumph.

We work with small and large businesses every day.  No matter what their size, however, we’re seeing how Splunk Cloud addresses very specific needs – from ease of use, to cost, to flexibility, to expandability.  But there’s one common denominator in all of it that brings us right back to Malcolm Gladwell and the way he thinks.  It comes down to data.  Regardless of whether they’re underdogs or giants, our customers are trying to uncover what’s hidden.  Like Gladwell, they’re trying to grasp what others may miss and use it to their advantage.  At the end of the day, that’s a huge secret to being a top competitor – and it has nothing to do with size.



Marc Olesen

SVP & GM, Cloud Solutions

Splunk Inc.