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Jan 05, 2010

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This seems to go in cycles for large firms eating up the smaller ones. We have been seeing this same issue for many years in the IT Infrastructure Assessment world. We got tired of the same old manual, analyst biased, "gut feel" assessments the traditional market gave at massive price points.

So there are some small firms out there. We, for example, created the only (as far as we can see) fully automated benchmarking tool that generates results at the level we do. Covering 10 quantitative towers and 2 qualitative towers with over 2700 metrics at about 1/4 the traditional cost - finally - small companies can do assessments as well.

If interested, we can be found at www.ithc.com.

It's cool to pop in here in the old neighborhood (outsourcing) and see the discussion on the street corner is 100% aligned to my new sector. The age of the all-powerful analyst firm is in decline. The power has shifted to the buyer and disintermediation never felt so good (especially to vendors). It's a good thing to live in interesting times.

I was on an IIAR webinar yesterday and Naomi Higgins, head of Microsoft EMEA AR, said something along the lines of Forrester needs to wake up or be acquired. A variety of SIs have long looked at entree into the analyst world via acquisition or organic creation. Could you see this happening now? Or would that destroy their ability to opine on this space?

And yes, I am spending my every waking moment (except when drinking with you) trying to make sure that Ovum/Datamonitor capitalizes on the great opportunities in front of us, to offer not just a second opinion but a clearly differentiated voice and focus.

Welcome to the "Magic Quandary" as I heard one senior executive buyer describe the situation at hand. I think Bruce and Stan make excellent points. My own experience tells me that selective advice from targeted and narrow firms will fill this void.

Spend Matters, of course! What else could
http://www.spendmatters.com/index.cfm/2009/12/18/Friday-Rant-Doubling-Down-on-Spend-Matters-Part-2
and
http://www.spendmatters.com/index.cfm/2009/12/11/Friday-Rant-Doubling-Down-on-Spend-Matters-Part-1
be leading up to?

The only question is, will Supply Chain Matters follow suit? It's already ranked in the top 100 analyst blogs
http://www.theferrarigroup.com/blog1/?p=1575
and Bob's recent perspectives post seems to be leaning heavily toward an analyst bent ...
http://www.theferrarigroup.com/blog1/?p=1562
...

Not sure this is so much a great roll-up as a ...

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/original/1213rollups.jpg

I tend to think that over time the pendulum will swing swing back and smaller analyst firms, even individuals, will fill voids in in specific areas of focus. An example, Saugatuck zeros in on cloud. Instead of the be all end all for all, these boutique niche analysts will focus on one thing and doing the one thing well.

Phil, your departure to the sell side (at least for the time being) was the quintesenntial bellwether moment for the demise of the IT analyst industry coverage of services as we've known it. Gartner mopping up flagging firms unable to remain solvent and relevant during a slump and in the age of extensive free "research" is an additional manifestation of that demise.

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