Andrew Smith's got an interesting post (http://www.bloglines.com/blog/andismit?id=189) about the publications that IT decision-makers actually read. It's not always what you would expect (in fact they seem to read very few IT titles, if any at all).
It's focused me on writing about some of the changes that are happening with the industry analysts and some of the questions that we're currently in the midst of answering.
Everyday, we're now actively engaged in challenging our own perceptions on the relative importance of analyst firms and individual analysts. We are constantly forcing ourselves to re-examine who has what knowledge and influence, how that is applied and how we can best help our clients make use of it.
We ask ourselves if Gartner's increasing size will actually result in an equal increase in influence. We don't think so. There will be an increase but not in a straight line proportion. There will also be some kind of backlash over its increasing dominance and the prices it charges.
We ask ourselves if there will be more consolidation among the likes of AMR, Forrester, Ovum and Yankee Group? Yes, because whether it's true or not, these companies are likely to believe they have to get bigger to effectively compete against Gartner for influence in the end-user market.
We ask ourselves if we will see the smaller analyst firms such as Quocirca (www.quocirca.com), Macehiter Ward-Dutton (www.mwdadvisors.com) and Redmonk (www.redmonk.com) gain more influence? Yes, because we believe firms are increasingly buying people rather than (as well as?) companies. Watch out for the rise of the 'individual' brand in the analyst market.
We're witnessing some interesting times in the IT industry analyst market at the moment. The changes will not make the AR job any easier in the short-term but it's forcing us to re-examine how influence works in the IT sector. It's also helping us get to understand how the role of the industry analyst is being re-defined.