In my recent post about Supplier and Market Intelligence (SMI) Literacy, I write that there are three phases of SMI Literacy, with the first two being 1) identifying resources and 2) evaluating resources. I also stated that these phases will be explored in more detail in follow-up posts, organized around various markets and categories. This post lists key IT (Information Technology) resources for procurement professionals to consider when researching services and products. These resources are highly credible and most have been around for many years, slowly and steadily establishing their reputations for unbiased research and fair coverage of issues and news. There is a section on crowdsourced communities, most of which are newly launched. They are worth a look and time will tell if they become viable. I would love to hear about other resources, not on this list, that you use and find helpful. Click here for an infographic of the resources.
RESOURCES THAT ANALYZE THE ANALYSTS
Analyst Equity (How Analysts Influence Business Value)
Duncan Chapple helps international technology and telecom providers to develop and measure their relationships with analysts and influencers. He writes posts for his blog about IT analysts and the influence they carry. Many of his posts provide helpful insights about the firms. A sample of an interesting post – Survey: Which Analyst Firms are Moving Up or Down (includes a graph with 30 analyst firms).
The IIAR is a not-for-profit organization established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts. The posts are positive in nature and written with the intent of aiding communication between analysts and vendors. There are informative nuggets to be gleaned about the firms and IIAR gives Analyst of the Year and Analyst Firm of the Year designations.
Outsell is an analyst firm that covers the information industry, including the IT industry analyst space. The report “Watching the IT Watchers” includes market trends and profiles of key players (2012). They also published a report “Market & IT Research 2012 Market Size, Share, Forecast, and Trend Report, dated Oct. 2012.
Current 451 Research Practice Areas include: CloudScape, Datacenter Technologies, Eco-Efficient IT, Enterprise Security, Internet Infrastructure Services, Infrastructure Computing for Enterprise, Information Management, and Multi-Tenant Datacenter. Parent 451 Group purchased Yankee Group (focus on global connectivity and mobile) early in 2013.
Aberdeen provides research and analysis of information technology companies and products. It recently launched “AberdeenAccess,” a program that offers free access to its research. In exchange, Aberdeen will share information with partners who provide products and services relevant to the content accessed.
CEB is a member-based advisory company. CEB IT’s offerings identify the best economic outcome to difficult functional and IT management challenges facing CIOs and senior IT executives. The insight is vendor independent and sourced from an executive network that spans the C-suite.
Everest Group is an advising firm that specializes in consulting; research; next generation IT; global sourcing strategy; shared services/global in-house centers; outsourcing; and location optimization. Its “Service Provider Directory and Profiles” allows you to browse for service providers for major ITO and BPO functions.
Forrester is a big player in the IT industry analyst world. It started in 1983 and is a global research and advisory firm that focuses on servicing clients by professional role. Known for “The Forrester Wave,” which is a graphic that illustrates competing products and suppliers, Forrester also focuses on strategy. You can purchase reports separately. Becoming a client enables you to have access to the analysts, who have deep subject-matter expertise.
Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technologies practice provides global industry analysis, growth consulting (strategy consulting), market forecasts, and insights into emerging technologies. There is access to complimentary research and you can purchase reports individually.
Gartner is the most dominant analyst firm in the IT space. Gideon Gartner (a former IBM employee) founded the company in 1979 for the purpose of helping management information systems (MIS) executives negotiate better prices from the IBM monopoly. Gartner is known for its “Magic Quadrant,” a visual graphic that positions competing players in the major technology markets. You will need a subscription to access reports and services. (A few are free and you can set up an alert to see what is being published.)
GigaOM Pro focuses on emerging technology markets, timely analysis and easy accessibility. It “was created to address the gap that exists in real-time expert industry analysis on emerging technology markets.” No pricey reports here – there is a flat subscription fee, which is very reasonable.
This publisher provides research reports covering 94 industries, including Information Technology. What is unique about this resource, is that you can purchase complete reports, or sections of the reports, individually, which can be very cost effective.
HfS Research offers services to address critical issues impacting global business and IT services. Highlighted services include: advice for buyers of global services, the future of outsourcing, and the HfS PriceIndicator for precision sourcing decisions, financial services, healthcare, and pharmaceutical sourcing landscapes. Premium members can download reports; otherwise you can purchase them individually.
IDC is a provider of market intelligence and advisory services for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IT procurement tools focusing on peer price benchmarks and cost management insights are: “Smart Fair Value,” “Smart Analysis,” “Smart Buy,” and “Smart Index.” You can purchase reports separately or via subscription services.
Ovum provides technology research covering these industries: consumer impact; education; energy and utilities; financial markets; government; healthcare; insurance; life sciences; media; oil and gas; retail banking; and sustainability. The “Trends to Watch” series explains the trends that will have the greatest impact. You can purchase many reports individually.
Sheena Moore states this about Spend Matters’ technical coverage, “From individual ‘Vendor Snapshots’ to overarching viewpoints on where the sector’s technology has been and where we see it going, this is one of our favorite areas to explore here at Spend Matters — and one where we are proud of providing original thought, insightful analyses, and unbiased opinion that doesn’t hedge, obfuscate, or pander.” Coverage here of technology issues and products relevant to procurement professionals is comprehensive, current, and helpful.
INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC IT PERIODICALS/WEBSITES
Retail Technology Review (website)
CROWDSOURCED and OPEN SOURCE COMMUNITIES
GENERAL IT PERIODICALS/WEBSITES
All the resources listed above publish accompanying blogs, many of which are very insightful.
Here are additional ones I like: