This posting is prompted by an interesting article at eWeek.com and my experience organising independent analyst research on behalf of technology vendors.
Firstly, the eWeek article covers the purchase of The Meta Group by analyst behemoth GartnerGroup. Gartner now earned some 858 million USD revenue in 2003, to put that in perspective that dwarfs the market capitalisation of many of the technology companies that Gartner advises clients about. This is part of a wider pattern, Forrester Research acquired Giga.
Overall this is bad for the IT professional and IT journalism:
- The pool of independent experts is declining
- As revenues increase and the consultancy moves into being a large corporate various pressures come into play, that run the risk of losing the very commodity of independence that they earn the living from. Look at the world of accounts auditing where pressures of revenue destroyed Andersen, tainted Deloitte and has tainted the reputation of tier two players like Grant Thornton
- It’s bad for innoviative smaller vendors competing with the Microsoft’s of this world. As a case in point, a number of times I have tried to comission business case research or publiclly usable competitive analysis and have been turned down because of the risk of offending ‘a large software vendor’