This blog from Armadgeddon got me thinking.
It seems to me Gartner will increasingly be competitive with major vendors when it comes to industry mindshare and account control, benchmarking and best practices. It is also going to be hit by open source analysis.
Define the language used to speak about technology deployment and you are on the way to defining the market and its purchasing patterns. There are some signs Microsoft, for one, is becoming less willing to play Gartner’s bucket game, if recent public disavowals around ESB and SOA are anything to go by, which is interesting.
The language game is also changing. The industry perhaps doesn’t need a central language authority in same way it used to. We have new Internet driven modes of establishing language, more bottom up that top down. “AJAX” is a good example. “Blogs” is another.
To drive home the point note that my pointers to definitions above cite Wikipedia, a place where communities create and manage definitions.
Gartner has not only has new, incredibly well capitalised competitors willing to play the role of educator, but also faces the same challenges as other centralised media companies. Information is being commoditised. Analyst companies make people pay for their libraries of reports. Publishers are in uproar about Google’s plans to index and serve every book written. Even if Google were to lose a copyright court case it seems like the genie is out of the bottle. Gartner might get Napstered. It might get Wikipediad. Or it might get iTuned. Or all three. How about Apple to sell reports by individual independent analysts, with a community rating system for credibility and quality, as ebooks for the new Apple iPaper?…I cite Apple to make a rhetorical point but is it really so off the wall?- if you had gone to record companies five years ago and said Apple will have you squeaking within 5 years they probably would have laughed in your face.
If Gartner is going to compete with vendors, why can’t vendors compete with Gartner? It won’t be Apple, but if you want information about the future of healthcare IT why not ask IBM? The Healthnex blog, for example, is quality. Here is an excerpt:
A new study from RAND, published in the prestigious healthcare journal Health Affairs, finds that adoption of interoperable electronic medical records (EMRs) could yield efficiency and safety savings totaling about $81 billion annually for the U.S. healthcare industry. The RAND study contends that although widespread deployment (90% adoption rate) of EMRs will be costly — $98 billion investment for hospitals and $17.2 billion investment for physicians — the costs are easily offset by savings resulting from higher productivity and reduced medical costs, among other benefits.
But some are skeptical. In the same issue of Health Affairs, two Harvard Medical School professors and practicing physicians argue that RAND’s EMR savings estimates are overblown. “The RAND analysis … continues the tradition of EMR hope and hype,” they say, claiming RAND under-estimates the difficulty of migrating from paper medical records to EMRs. They also note the RAND study was sponsored by vendors and say EMRs have never lived up to expectations.
That’s analysis by Doug O’Boyle, Global Market Intelligence Analyst, IBM Sales & Distribution. I see.
Where would you look for insights about the computer game industry? Isn’t that Forrester territory?
Oh good it looks like IBM is competing with RedMonk too. [you mean collaborating, right? Ed] heh. Step forward Carol Jones, who blogs on Social networking and massive amateur integration.
“Massive amateur integration” – how RedMonk does THAT sound? Tell me more Carol; this is the subject I am working on:
Li-Te Cheng explains the origin of the phrase this way:
The term derives from “mass amateurization”, which appears to have originated from Clay Shirky’s essay about blogging versus publishing (see http://www.shirky.com/writings/weblogs_publishing.html). Mass amateurization then was pointed at everything else – see http://radio.weblogs.com/0126951/2004/09/20.html … As the author of the previous blog mentions, the notion isn’t really that new (mentioning the WSJ article, http://andykessler.com/wsj_hack_this_please.html , and past ACM research in end-user / DIY development).
What is new is that it is a lot easier now for end-users ( aka “amateurs” ) to assemble things by googling/open-source + copy + paste little pieces together very quickly thanks to architectures of participation, viral adoption, etc as mentioned in the paper. Also what’s different is these efforts are done by much more people than before from diverse backgrounds, across the whole internet. Hence “massive” – even if only 10% of this works out, it’s still okay (this argument was also pointed at the quality of open source software projects, the effectiveness of del.icio.us, etc).
Since this mostly involves putting stuff together in new and different ways, hence the addition of “integration” in the paper.
Now that is what I am talking about. Clay Shirky, one of RedMonk’s touchstone thinkers. Excellent. Tim O’Reilly’s Architecture of Participation. Chris Anderson’s Long Tail. The sharpest analyst in the business is surely Jon Udell, the walking dialectic polymath, who works for Infoworld, a magazine, not an analyst firm. What if enterprises start publishing information about technology deployment choices as open metadata, like a tech industry market share attention trust? Why not measure what platforms are getting architect’s attention?
Don’t even get me started on Google as a measurement company.
Categories are breaking down like tundra. That is why you have to go with the flow. Can the major analyst firms afford to do that, though? RedMonk can. Macehiter Ward Dutton can. Quocirca can. If you work for an independent analyst firm and agree with any of this why don’t you leave a comment.
Have a great weekend.