Tech industry R&A - or research and analysis - was once a noble endeavor. However, many of our clients tell us that the leading research houses and their "mini=me's" have lost their way. Their research is tainted by vendor bias, reflecting the marketing objectives and talking points of vendors who buy services from the R&A house more than any sort of hands-on testing of product claims or interviews with end users.
One client told us recently that they don't believe Gartner or IDC or any of the smaller houses when they report about industry trends or vendor rankings. "We just keep the reports and paper clip the ones that agree with a product selection we have already made when we are asking for funding from the front office."
Still, we believe that real R&A can have enormous value - when it is fact-based. We talk to our clients and to industry reseller/integrators and, when possible, we actually deploy, measure and report on the products we cover. Sadly, the product testing business has slowed substantially of late as vendors do not wish to have their claims actually validated or lack the personnel to support a program of analyst testing.
When practicable, we do conduct user surveys and other direct research to obtain the information required to snapshot current products and technologies and their capabilities. Often we glean the most useful information from the pilots and other experience of our user clients. This information might otherwise never see light of day because many vendors have implemented legal "gag orders" in their warranty and maintenance agreements prohibiting users from speaking publicly about the performance they observe in vendor supplied products or platforms!
We hope you will find our R&A useful in making intelligent purchasing decisions and formulating IT strategies.
When we aren't out on assignment, this blog is used to record details of our projects and client visits. Here we try to document the impact that technology and methodology are having on business processes. We also use this blog as a scratch pad for storing factoids we come upon in our travels. We welcome our clients to peruse the records of our work and observations.