News
Commentary
9/7/2001
05:59 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Business Technology Managers Have Their Say

This is the third time InformationWeek has analyzed the analysts. Why? Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (and some more than $1 million) on these services each year.

The IT analyst community specializes in telling business technology managers what they think. In this week's issue, business technology managers tell us what they think about IT analysts. This is the third time InformationWeek has analyzed the analysts. Why? Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (and some more than $1 million) on these services each year. But the slow economy and dwindling confidence in some firms have many companies scrutinizing their research expenses.

When it comes to IT analysis, there are two sets of customers: business technology managers and technology vendors. Other than a few outspoken vendors (such as Oracle), many are guarded about their opinions of analyst firms for fear that their products or strategies won't be mentioned or recommended in an analyst's report. Some smaller vendors say they're outright ignored because they don't (or can't afford to) purchase the firm's services. Their suspicions are supported by a former analyst I spoke with the other day. She said revenue was the driving factor behind her firm's analysis. "Rarely did we do anything for the sake of getting information out there. We were discouraged from having briefings with vendors if it didn't seem as though they were going to sign on as clients." That attitude, of course, could affect the kind of analysis on which business technology managers base their buying decisions.

Before I go any further, let me stress that I'm not suggesting all IT analyst firms behave this way. In fact, Al Biland, CIO at Snap-on, says he's gotten great advice about smaller vendors from analyst firms. I'll also add that CMP Media, which owns InformationWeek, sells IT market research, that reporters at InformationWeek often seek out opinions from analysts, and that InformationWeek.com sells reports from various analyst firms. So we aren't here just to criticize.

To wit, this week's cover story ("The Reality Of Research"), by senior writer Steve Konicki, will give you a good idea where business technology managers get the most value from the analyst community and where they believe they've been burned. Find out, too, how some firms are changing in order to stay relevant. IT analysts who might be reading our story will learn three primary lessons: Cut the B-to-B hype (some may tell the media to do the same!); don't play the role of the "yes man"-tell your clients if their strategies are wrong; and help your clients better understand their customers, not just their competitors.

Let us know about your experience with IT analysts.

STEPHANIE STAHL
Editor
sstahl@cmp.com

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.