Monday, 28 March 2005

Forrester: a new virgin?

I was pointed this link on Friday, relating to a new publication by Forrester criticising Ford for alledged anti-Semitic views. The author, Tom Foremski, relates that Ford asked Forrester to withdraw and when that request was denied on editorial independence grounds, they pulled back several hundreds thousands dollars.

This follows well documented episodes on Forrester, Aberdeen or IDC and Microsoft but also other vendors over the past few years -where integrity was seriously questioned. Overall, one should question whether this is negative for the analyst community at large?
By all accounts, it seems the level of cynicism amongst industry watchers and more worryingly end-users is higher than ever -and the current industry consolidation is probably going to polarise further the industry in three camps: the watchers, the crunchers and the helpers. The watchers are firms like Gartner and Forrester, whose revenue comes from both vendors and users and who can claim vendor independence and insight in IT-buyers side. The crunchers are those like IDC, who are funded by vendors to analyse market trends. And the helpers are also finding their revenues source within the vendor community to produce "stuff" to help them go to market, often white papers.

Understanding an analyst's business model is key to gauge their claims for independence. But bold statements... Small ones are just too exposed to dirty tricks....

PS: in addition to the ComputerWorld link above, read also the post from Ben King "Analysing the analysts: Can independence be bought?"

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