by CIO Staff

The Demise of IT Analysts

Mar 15, 20043 mins
IT Leadership

The focus on vendor revenue is driving good analysts away. “One of the reasons I left is because of an increasingly clear connection between the revenue you personally generated from vendors and your flexible income [bonuses]. You had several key measures you were gauged against, and one of the key measurements was consulting. I was worried about the conflict of interest.”

-Rob Enderle, formerly of Giga and Forrester, now principal analyst of Enderle Group

They are trying to be consultants. “Meta would get $5,000 for me doing a 15 minute ’Webinar.’ A vendor would shell out that much for an analyst to do 15 minutes. It’s hard to turn that kind of revenue down.”

-David Scott Lewis, former vice president of e-business strategies at Meta, now president and principal analyst for IT E-Strategies

The large firms are overtaxed. “The vendors need the general forecasting and market trends much more than the CIOs now, so that’s where the business is going. At some point, feeding the beast becomes more important than doing well the thing you were set up to do.”

-Ken Smiley, former analyst at Giga (and Forrester when it was acquired), now principal analyst of Smiley Research Group

The companies have lost experienced people. “I love the idea [from Alan Kay, a personal computing pioneer] that a point of view is worth 80 IQ points. The best way to a mature point of view is to have actual experience doing the thing you’re analyzing.”

-Jerry Michalski, former vice president and research director of New Science Associates (which was bought by Gartner) and former editor of Esther Dyson’s “Release 1.0,” now president of Sociate

We’re fine because…

We can handle new business. “Other firms might be messaging that they’re shifting to consulting. We’re not saying that. We’re saying we’re a big firm that can do both the old services and adapt to provide the new ones.”

-Joe Baylock, group vice president, Gartner

We’re business-focused. “Our business always focused on technology segments. Now we organize research teams by the problems CIOs deal with. We have a team focused on Sarbanes-Oxley, a team focused on supply chains. I believe CIOs want this differentiated value and will pay a subscription for it.”

-Tony Friscia, president and CEO, AMR Research

We can win back the subscriptions.

“We’ve found there are higher subscription renewal rates for clients who use the one-off consulting services. It’s a matter of building that relationship. Forrester was research-centric. When we bought Giga, they were more relationship-centric. We needed both; now we’ve got them.”

-Brian Kardon, chief strategy and marketing officer, Forrester

We’re private. “Public company competitors were forced to focus on operational efficiency. They went to all-you-can-eat pricing. We’ve been able to maintain more flexible pricing options. Being a private company helped, absolutely.”

-Gigi Wang, senior vice president of strategy, IDC

We’re focused on the practical. “We moved to differentiate as soon as we saw the market shift. The new model is to be the trusted adviser, which is built on research and deep relationships, followed up by pragmatic advice. “

-Fred Amoroso, vice chairman, president and CEO, Meta Group