CIOs claim Gartner closure reflects badly on local market

Services too pricey for Australia

While some Australian CIOs today expressed alarm at theclosure of Gartner's consulting services, others said it may have something to do with the analyst firm's "expensive pricing".

IMB Ltd CIO, Johan Reyneke, is concerned the closure is a reflection of Australia's importance in the world of IT.

"If a big company like Gartner doesn't see Australia as a part of their future, then Im concerned the market isn't seen as important," Reyneke said.

As reported in Computerworld yesterday, Gartner has withdrawn its operations in Australia and Hong Kong, effective immediately.

The move comes only two years after Gartner acquired the Meta Group for $US162 million which gave the firm a stranglehold on the local analyst market.

Maverick Strategies IT infrastructure manager, Victor Dolffo, suspects Gartner was struggling locally because it's consulting services were "very expensive."

Dolffo has never been a Gartner customer because of its pricing adding its difficult to "determine the value" when there are plenty of other local firms available at a more reasonable rate.

"Australia is an SMB market and not everyone can afford Gartner prices," he said.

CIOs who are currently using Gartner's services were the most shocked by the announcement, with some unwilling to be quoted on the record until they had contacted the research and consulting firm directly.

Even one of Gartner's biggest customers, Telstra, was unwilling to comment until further details were made available.

One government CIO, who requested anonymity, said he was astounded.

"We do quite a bit of work with Gartner and I had absolutely no inkling that this was about to happen; we will certainly be seeking clarification," he said.

"Until then I am not really sure where we stand."

One Gartner customer willing to speak on the record is VicRoads CIO, John McNally.

He said VicRoads hasn't used Gartner's consulting services for a while so he isn't too worried.

"Overall, Im not overly concerned about the effect of the closure," McNally said.

WA County Health Service IT operations coordinator (south west), Chris Murray, said Gartner's consulting services aren't available in that state.

"We use other local firms and we are happy with the services they provide," he said.

- with Darren Pauli

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