Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Industry Analyst Observations

I have observed the behavior of many industry analysts and find the notion that they think they compete with each other somewhat silly. Let me share why...

There are lots of really talented analysts that work for small firms including the likes of James Governor and Michael Cote of Redmonk, Jason Bloomberg and Ronald Schmelzer of ZapThink, Brenda Michelson of Elemental Links and so on. Lets pretend you get a call from James McGovern who needs an enterprise strategy on cloud computing. What are the odds that you would be competing with each other? What are the odds that you would be competing with various system integrators such as Accenture, Diamond and so on?

Enterprises look for strategies all the time and use various consultancies to help us construct them. We can all acknowledge at some level that analysts have more years of experience in the industry, are probably better observers of trends and have lots of good material already sitting on the shelf, yet many enterprises aren't leveraging analysts in this regard. I wonder why analysts haven't thought about this disconnect more deeply?

Analysts have the ability to run circles around system integrators who back up the school bus to enterprises in terms of speed, quality and depth of strategy, so what is missing? I would love to see research on the preferences of IT executives when it comes to strategy. I bet it would uncover the fact that they prefer lower-quality strategies that make everyone feel good vs better strategies that might require people to stretch their brains a little as this puts at risk those who just don't get it and them becoming problematic in the future.

System integrators propose longer times for creation of the strategy because they have acknowledged the requirement to be a broken record. A person has to hear the same thing multiple times in order for it to sink in. Analysts tend to do strategies that work only for people who get it the first time. Successful strategies need to feel like broken records.

As a side note, have you noticed that many of the star analysts at the larger firms sound like broken records? Anyway, I think that analysts should figure out creative ways to take business share away from system integrators and stop the silly conversation of competing with each other. Enterprises spend and waste lots of money on poorly conceived strategies and it is in the best interest to help make things better and not just report about why IT is an abysmal failure...

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