Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Taxonomizing Open Source Analysis

James McGovern kicked-off the idea in this post where he suggests large enterprises only use large analyst firms as part of their ongoing efforts to curb the number of suppliers and because they simply don't know who the independent analysts are:

So if marketing and size are not being the only reasons for the Borg Empire Domination, what then can be done? There's been talks of a Federation but not much happened...

James came up with a simple (and thus great) idea: a wiki cataloguing Open Source Analysts. Duncan details it in this post and provides the link to the wiki:

This looks like a great idea, but there's a but: it will only work with active participation...

However, wikis could be viable as the main delivery mechanism for open source research notes or a way to organise research: end-user clients often cite the main reason for using Gartner is that it provides a one-stop-shop for research covering most IT and business topics. On the other hand, blogs are tedious to read and are not well/consistently archived/indexed/tagged. We thought ITD was going to be an answer but it does not seem to be gaining much commercial momentum (read Have you seen my plan, my plan, my plan?).

Take it as a call to the Open Source Analyst community: it should organise itself to provide a single-source (research) distribution (channel). The idea is not new and implies agreeing on a taxonomy, possibly working together on research pieces, vetting in/out members, etc... . The payback would be a body of research easily accessible that could have the potential to impact the whole industry and drive end-users and vendors to using indepent analysts. Think of a Wikipedia for IT Analysis, free of the Borg Dogmas.

Read also this post for more links on Open Source Analysis:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding OA - the "transparency of funding" criterion is a red herring. It's an attempt to reposition others in the industry - those who do not release such information - as not credible, or perhaps, dishonest.

Rather, a little introspection is in order. Analyst customer lists aren't the problem. It's the type and style of research which, for some firms, consists of formulaic product briefings and other petty insight disguised as analysis.

I also find it amusing that some analysts choose to draw a distinction between "sponsored research" and that which is purchased "after the fact" (i.e. research that is written first and purchased later). Clearly, the aim of these analysts, is to deflect criticism by creating a false sense of impartiality and credibility. However, on-spec reports are quite common. That is to say, reports written in advance with the hope, nay, the expectation that there's a buyer waiting at the end of the rainbow.

If these analysts would focus on doing something more productive and valuable, say, writing research that offers something more than what is already available in free mainstream publications, that would be a start.

In the meantime, I could care less about the sources of their revenue. If anything, I feel bad for the vendors paying for the crap these analysts call research. They should demand a refund.