Thursday, 28 April 2005

Yankee, analyst impartiality and circular references

Hyperlink party: David points to James who points to this :-)

It's all about Steve Hamm from BusinessWeek having a pop at Laura DiDio from Yankee for a report on Linux TCO. This subject is interesting indeed:

  • Microsoft invested several millions of dollars in their "get the facts" anti-Linux campaign, with tactics ranging from roadshows (with META) to advertising complemented by an impressive reports library (mostly bespoke)
  • Yet, the result is mixed after some reports by IDC, IDC again, Aberdeen and others generated a heated debate on analyst impartiality (check this InternetNews article for instance)

A situations where two vendors quoting the same Yankee report to support opposed claims begs the question of analyst relevance as trusted advisors to businesses. As the level of cynicism amongst technology users is already high (and rising), it may comfort the likes of Gartner and Ovum in their policy to not do paid-for white papers (and turn down the associated revenue)... but we doubt they would stop selling reprints and consulting days.

The issue with this model is that it implies less transparency (revenue coming from vendor engagements is not as visible as sponsored papers) and thus potentially adds more credit to the cynics' arguments.

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