CIOs are reducing spending on analyst services, and no matter how much the economy rebounds, it\u2019s unlikely they\u2019ll ever spend as much as they once did. But they say they can get the same quality of research and analysis as before with a much smaller investment. Here\u2019s how they\u2019re doing it. 1 Figure out what you already have. CIOs are often surprised to learn what services are being used by lower-level IT staff, and even more surprised to learn what subscriptions they\u2019re paying for that they don\u2019t use. "CIOs tell us, \u2019Oh, we use just this one firm,\u2019" says Norma LaRosa of the Kensington Group, an analyst-tracking company. "But I\u2019ve already talked to their staff, and their staff is using about five other firms too." 2 Figure out what you need. After taking an inventory of your library and subscriptions, cut the deadwood. "Subscriptions are only good when you have huge initiatives that require ongoing analysis," says Louise Garnett, vice president and lead analyst of Outsell. In most other cases, whether you\u2019re trying to learn about a market, get smaller projects rolling or do basic remediation, by-the-drink purchasing of research and analyst services is preferable.3 If you\u2019ve got a subscription, use it. "It\u2019s actually work to make sure we\u2019re utilizing our Meta subscription," says the vice president of IT at a large manufacturing company. "I\u2019ve got people who use a lot of different ways to get information" without thinking to use the subscription. "I just have to make sure we\u2019re using the service we\u2019re paying for."4 Replace research services you pay for with experts you already employ. "Without a doubt, we\u2019re smarter about IT in-house," says World Wildlife Fund Vice President of IT and CIO Greg Smith. "I only go to research if I don\u2019t have the answer." But more often than not, Smith has found that someone in his department will. 5 Use boutique analyst firms. Boutique analyst firms that specialize in a narrow band of technologies or processes are good for hand-holding on a project, details within projects (for example, HIPAA compliance), and they\u2019re likely to be happy to work with you on a per-project basis. Both CareGroup Healthcare System CIO John Halamka and Vice President and CIO John Glaser of Partners HealthCare System have shifted their resources from big analyst companies to boutiques. "Health care has all sorts of new IT analyst groups," Glaser says. "Deep is better than broad now," says Halamka.6 Use analysts, not firms. When you find an analyst with whom you work well, whether from a big firm or a boutique, care for that relationship. "We needed to analyze our website, and when we found a guy at Meta, he was amazing, worth every penny," says a chief technologist from a large manufacturing company. "When you find one of them, you don\u2019t want to let him go." 7 If your analyst jumps to another firm, jump with him. In the long run, the personal relationship you have with your analyst is more important than the methodologies of the company he works for. 8 Demand metrics on analysts\u2019 experience. You have every right to know if the analysts have ever been on a project comparable to yours, what clients they\u2019ve advised in the past, and how many years they\u2019ve been in the business. 9 Demand ethics. Ask firms for a breakdown of their revenue by sector (vendor, end user, other). Ask analysts for the names of the clients they\u2019ve worked for. That might color their analysis. Ask them to show you their company\u2019s ethics policy. "CIOs never asked who paid us," says former Giga and Forrester analyst Rob Enderle. "They didn\u2019t ask about our relationships to vendors. I was always kind of surprised that they didn\u2019t seem all that interested or concerned about it.""If CIOs ever knew how much energy and money is being spent by vendors to buy influence while maintaining that sense it comes from an independent authority, they\u2019d be shocked," says LaRosa.10 Set the price. Negotiate. Shop. Pit analysts against each other. "It\u2019s a buyer\u2019s market. The competition is the most intense I\u2019ve ever seen," says the vice president of IT at the large manufacturing company. "I\u2019ve had more face time in the last eight months with a Gartner rep than ever?and I\u2019m not even a Gartner guy. Right now, we\u2019re paying by the drink for a lot of services. Salary benchmarks. IT spend benchmarks. "Look, they don\u2019t have a choice. As we try to reduce spending we\u2019ve found we can say, \u2019We\u2019ll take just that.\u2019"