Saturday, January 06, 2007


Taxonomizing Open Source Analysis

The folks over at ARmadgeddon commented on Taxonomizing Open Source Analysis which was good but needs some refinement...

Here are some of the quotes along with my perspective:
First, we need to deconstruct the meaning of one-stop shop from an enterprise perspective. It does mean the following:
Now, lets also talk about what one-stop shop doesn't mean:
If there is simply a web-site that outlines who to contact for a given topic, that is sufficient. I would never recommend that in order for this to work that we customers need a human to route our calls. Likewise, the notion of a "seat" is fugly. We deal with lots of analyst firms where the seat notion forces me to interact first with an internal contact who submits the request to the analyst firm. This simply creates additional expense on our part. I like the way the folks at the Burton Group operate as it doesn't constrain on our side who can establish a dialog. Likewise, getting a credential to download whitepapers is simple.

It is my thought that distribution should be made more organized but not necessarily research. In fact, I would probably argue against it. For example the notion of a Quadrant or Wave is useful in terms of me filtering down a list of vendors to invite in for a proof of concept and is primarily targeted at IT executives and non-technical software architects (A pervasively implemented oxymoron in enterprise environments). Other analyst firms provide insight at a detailed level and simply target a different audience. Normalization could alienate one demographic.

Let me state with passion that analyst taxonomies are evil. Taxonomies as used in the analyst space tend to be how analysts classify vendors which in many cases is not how we customers use technology. It wouldn't be too difficult to find a software vendor (or a hundred) that believe they are inappropriately classified by analysts. So if vendors and customers agree that taxonomies are evil, let's not go there. Let's instead figure out better mechanisms for tagging.

The notion of working together on research pieces seems interesting at some level but I think regardless of whether that happens or not, I would love to at least see analysts reference the work of others. The only analyst I have seen that has done this has been Brenda Michelson of Elemental Links. This is incredibly transparent of here and does wonders for her credibility...

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