Cisco's Got Splunk, Mate: Navigating the Troublesome SIEM Territorycisco,splunk,SIEM,cybersecurity,networksecurity,logmanagement,dataanalysis,threatdetection,securityinformationandeventmanagement,ITinfrastructure
Cisco's Got Splunk, Mate: Navigating the Troublesome SIEM Territory

Cisco’s Got Splunk, Mate: Navigating the Troublesome SIEM Territory

3 minutes, 51 seconds Read

The Rise and Fall of Splunk: A Roller Coaster Ride in the Tech Market


Technology markets are known for their rapid shifts, and the recent announcement of Cisco‘s acquisition of Splunk in a $28 billion deal is a perfect example of this. Splunk, once a leader in the security information and event management (SIEM) market, experienced a decline in recent years due to struggles with its cloud transition. However, with Cisco‘s acquisition, Splunk investors are now reaping the rewards. In this report, we will delve into the story of Splunk‘s rise and fall, explore the implications of the acquisition for Cisco, and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

Splunk‘s Cloud Transition Challenges

In 2020, Splunk was riding high on the COVID boom, as companies worldwide invested heavily in cybersecurity technology for remote work and cloud migration. Splunk, known for its market-leading SIEM platform, benefitted from this trend. However, the company faced challenges in transitioning from on-premises data technology to a cloud service. Many of its customers still relied on the on-premises installation of its SIEM, causing road bumps in the transition process. Splunk also grappled with the high cost of SIEM, as customers began to question its value and explore alternative solutions.

Cisco‘s Interest in Splunk

Cisco first expressed interest in acquiring Splunk in 2022 when rumors of a potential deal started circulating. At that time, however, Splunk‘s market capitalization was over $20 billion, a high cost for Cisco. As Splunk‘s shares continued to decline, Cisco patiently waited for the right opportunity. In retrospect, this decision proved wise, as Splunk‘s falling share price made the current acquisition offer more favorable for Cisco.

Financial Benefits and Strategic Challenges for Cisco

The $28 billion acquisition of Splunk not only accelerates Cisco‘s transition to a cloud-centric business model but also brings nearly $4 billion in annual recurring revenue (ARR). From a financial perspective, this deal makes sense for Cisco. However, there are potential challenges on the strategic front. Cisco has been criticized for imposing additional licensing costs on its products, and Splunk‘s expensive SIEM solution might exacerbate this issue. Furthermore, the integration of Splunk into Cisco‘s existing portfolio of data observability platforms raises questions about how these technologies will coexist and complement each other.

Doubts About the Future of SIEM

One lingering concern is the fate of SIEM, which is facing increasing scrutiny. While Splunk was once seen as a leader in on-premises SIEM, it has fallen behind in the cloud data services market. Startups, such as Exabeam, have emerged with more modern, cloud-native SIEM solutions, while customers explore open-source alternatives to manage their data more economically. The cybersecurity community is also calling for better automation in managing the overwhelming amounts of data handled by SIEMs. It remains to be seen how Cisco will address these concerns and position Splunk effectively in the market.

The Path Ahead for Cisco

In the short term, Cisco‘s acquisition of Splunk gives the company a significant boost, pushing its annual ARR beyond $30 million. However, the long-term success hinges on addressing Splunk‘s cloud capabilities and repositioning its SIEM solution to compete with industry darlings like Datadog. Cisco faces the challenge of integrating Splunk‘s technology into its existing portfolio while ensuring that customers do not feel burdened by additional costs. The road ahead requires careful planning, investment, and tough decisions.


The acquisition of Splunk by Cisco marks an intriguing twist in the ever-changing tech market. Splunk‘s rise and subsequent struggles demonstrate the volatility of the industry, where market leaders can quickly become challengers. For Cisco, this acquisition provides financial benefits and the opportunity to enhance its cloud offerings. However, the integration and positioning of Splunk‘s technology will be crucial for Cisco‘s success in the dynamic realm of SIEM and data observability. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, companies must remain agile, adapt to changing trends, and make strategic decisions to thrive in this fast-paced world.


<< photo by John Salvino >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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Edwards Jake

G'day, I'm Jake Edwards, the man on the street. I've been crisscrossing this great country, bringing you the human stories that make Australia what it is. From interviews with local legends to the everyday Aussie battlers, I'm here to tell your stories. So let's yarn, Australia

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