Technical depth sacrificed for business breadth

IT managers are complaining the Gartner symposium sacrificed technical depth for business breadth.

Pointing to Gartner's merger with the Meta Group, IT managers said the technical know-how that separated Meta from Gartner has been lost in the acquisition.

However, Gartner claims demand from CIOs is for real-life business research and little has changed since the merger.

Mike Lafford, Gartner group vice president for global research operations, said nothing has changed in terms of quality of information, adding the agenda for the symposium was specifically around strategies and high-level IT planning.

However, he agreed Gartner needed to offer both levels of research to succeed.

Bob Clarke, senior IT innovation manager at the Transport Accident Commission in Melbourne was disappointed in the program.

Clarke said the Meta Group clearly had strengths that Gartner did not, and it was obvious at the symposium.

"It has been relevant, but very generic," Clarke said.

"The Meta Group had more technical depth, whereas Gartner had business breadth and in the merger of the two they have lost their technical reserve and fleshed Gartner out at the expense of the Meta Group."

Former Meta Group analyst Kevin McIsaac said the general feedback when he was research director of Meta was that Meta had more senior technical people. McIsaac said Gartner has adopted a broad approach to deliver IT issues in the context of business.

John Brand, another former Meta analyst, said customers really drive the agenda.

"The customer does not want to think about the detailed, technical side of business and analyst companies know there is more revenue to be gained higher up the organization so they embed themselves," Brand said.

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