Monday, 20 February 2006

Is there an afterlife for analysts?

Duncan asked yesterday Why vendors hire analysts.

The underlying question lies around analysts career development.

You see, analysts do have somewhat atypical jobs -which may explain why they are often peculiar themselves. They come from various backgrounds, either from IT departments, IT vendors (most frequent case) and less frequently from resellers or other channel partners, often ticking well over 15 years of experience.
Their analyst job is often fascinating, both intellectually and for they have a privileged industry vantage point -sitting between so many constituencies (vendors, users, channel, etc...)

So it's not a surprise if analysts tend to stick around and progress naturally within research firms, however even in Gartner there can be only so many VP's... Creating their own consultancy can then appear as an attractive option. Duncan describes these market dynamics here: From the 'water cycle' to the 'analyst cycle'.

Another option is to move into AR. As James and Duncan point out, running AR for an IT vendor is sometimes a rather brutal landing. We also had some comments from analysts on being dealt with by ex-analysts (this may cause some clash of egos), on the other hand ex-analysts are well positionned to sell the value of AR to the business. Another option can be to work for or create an AR consultancy (KGC, LighthouseAR are run by former analysts) -but it's quite a niche market...

1 comment:

Stiennon said...

Your comments on Duncan's blog were to the point. Yes, ego plays a big part of it. Every analyst who books 300-500K in business for their firm has to ask: "how much of that is due to the analyst and how much to the brand?"

There is only one way to find out...