In today's IT industry it's relatively easy to have a modest awareness of what's going on, but to have an in-depth, detailed understanding of what's important to both vendors and buyers involves far more than skimming news releases, browsing Web sites, and reading white papers.
A friend of mine who compiles esoteric information contacted me recently seeking certain industry data plus a Who's Who of the Australian research analysts. His reason, in his words: "you're part of the media, you should know these things, you attend press and analysts' get-togethers"
I don't know about you, but my brain refuses to store information that's not relevant to my areas of interest. It is worse still when it comes to numbers.
This is why so many organisations depend on the research firms that cover the IT industry in some form or other. Vendors and buyers large and small, as well as the media and the PR industry, look to these analysts for expertise, objective insights, trends, market knowledge, and forecasts. In a world where tomorrow's climate is today's challenge, industry assessments and balanced guidance has never been more important for Australian vendors and their customers.
One of the current activities of the ICT analyst firms seems to be to prognosticate on IT spending and research often in distant lands that bear no resemblance to Australia or New Zealand.
During the past decade, ICT analysts and their presence has changed dramatically. Industry consolidation has also had a measurable impact on most analyst firms, from the smallest to the largest. A lack of thorough local coverage of the Australian marketplace is seen as a big shortcoming, it's not worldwide data we seek but local data on a consistent basis.
Many local vendors, especially the listed players, don't have enough access to the key analysts to tell them what they're providing. Analysts need to be sensitive to the essential local needs and to be watchful of shifting industry trends -- not what's happening elsewhere.
Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report