Friday, 24 February 2006

The Governor, ancient Iraq and Gartner

Like a modern David, James has decided to take on the Borg Goliath:

frontpage hit counterIn this post (and before), he argues the cuneiform writing is on the wall for Gartner Borg:
  • Why would vendors continue to pay a ransom to a gatekeeper to enterprise purchasing?
  • They're under pressure to disclose their "methodologies" and clients
  • He quotes Jonathan Schwartz, COO (SUNW), as not being happy with (IT)
His predication is that open source research will form a new ecosystem and make Gartner obsolete, just like an old mainframe. Vinnie says it's like Gulliver and the Lilliputs.

Joe has already posted an analysis on Gartner Watch:
ARmadgeddon's take: commoditisation of research is an inescapable trend and presents a serious threat to traditional content-based IT Analyst Research firms such as Gartner. However, open source research faces challenges before it can be seen as a credible alternative:
  • Reputation/credibility lies with individual analysts or firms (and not with the "ecosystem")
    **An AR professional emailed us that the main issue with "one-man-boutiques" for them was the lack of branding/the confusion in the marketplace.
  • The output of independent analysts varies considerably as it is not like a single source code (although the emergence of aggregators such as is a major step forward). **As Richard Stiennon puts it in the comments, "open source research would imply a wikipedia like collaboration on market research, [...] the results however would be FREE to use by anyone." (see comments for more)**
  • Consulting to users remains the exception for independent analysts and it is not proven can the open source model can be financially viable for them. **Vendors value this user insight more than everything else, this is however currently the priviledge of Gartner, Forrester, Ovum, etc....**
**27/2 edits**


Stiennon said...

I am not sure RedMonk gets "open source". To me, opensource research would imply a wikipedia like collaboration on market research. Something like the collaboration that goes on inside a large analyst firm to vet new ideas and polish the concepts. The results however would be FREE to use by anyone. While RedMonk may have dabbled in making research free I do not see them doing that for all their research (last I checked you had to be a paying customer to get access to their "library").

ARonaut said...

Agree Richard, that's what we meant with this phrase:

"he output of independent analysts varies considerably as it is not like a single source code"

But it was not very explicit. We've edited the post with your analogy.

Duncan Chapple said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Duncan Chapple said...

I think your conclusion is mistaken. Firms like Gartner and Forrester are evolving into full-service advisory organisations, with advisory, community and event businesses to round out their offer. If you want a sure-play research business, look at Informa or

Our CIO surveys offer some good insight here. Firms that subscribe to analysts value anakyst research more highly than do people who get it for free. That certainly shows normal bias (if I buy something then I think it's valuable) but it also suggests that CIOs who buy from analysts firms will not be easily swayed by commodity research, and that research is more valuable when it is supplied as part of a range of services that meet CIOs' needs.