I recently got my hands on a PowerPoint deck from a research firm I hadn't heard of, the Atlanta-based Hackett Group. Of course I immediately thought of Buddy Hackett, who would have made a great IT analyst, but this is a different Hackett.
The prezzo, a partial summary of which can be found on The Hackett Group's site, starts off as a snoozer, crammed with benchmarking metrics on corporate finance departments and liberal use of phrases like "top quartile" and "process taxonomy." But then it gets interesting.
"World-class organizations" spend more per end-user on IT than their peer group, its deck says -- in fact, 10 percent more. And interestingly, they do it with 28 percent fewer IT staff, while paying that skeleton crew 32 percent more. The deck also claims world-class organizations make greater use of both shared services and outsourcing, resulting, for example, in lower IT infrastructure costs per end-user. Of course I didn't see the underlying data, so this could be hooey. But at the very least, it means there's starting to be a market again for analysts who are bullish on IT -- and that's gotta be a good sign.