I listened in to today's Analyst Spotlight Audio Conference, the product of a joint venture between Tekrati's Industry Analyst Reporter, and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey. Sam Whitmore and Barbara French welcomed Louise Garnett, vice presidentand lead analyst for research firm Outsell, to give her 2005 outlook for the industry analysts. The 30-minute discussion started out with Garnett's overall take on the $2 billion dollar industry, of which 72% of revenue is commanded by the top 10 firms (a whopping 42% of the total, I learned, is Gartner's share alone). When the numbers come out, she said, the industry should have seen growth of 10% in 2004. >
Then shespoke about the biggest issue, consolidation, comparing Forrester's acquisition of Giga to that of Gartner's of Meta Group. She said that she was "more enthusiastic" about Forrester's takeover, where, unlike in the case of Gartner and Meta, there was no overlap in focus areas between the firms. Gartner's acquisition, she said, is more about pure consolidation rather than a means for growth. Here Whitmore complimented her on her blog post on the subject saying that it was the best assessment of the acquisition he'd seen. (Here's the best one I've seen) After that, he asked her who the up and coming "newbies," were. Garnett mentioned Nucleus and Aberdeen, the latter which she said "rose form the ashes" with a new pricing model offering a package of research and services for $399 per year. She said Aberdeen is the one to keep a close eye on to see how the innovative pricing structure pans out.
Next the discussion turned to a prediction where peer- to-peer and real time/real data will start to appear in market research content. I downloaded the free PDF file Sam pointed listeners to: Outlook 2005: Power Play In The Information Industry, to get a better sense of what this meant. Listed below is how Outsell sees the business of delivering market data to businesses is changing:
- There's a shift from traditional survey data to what we call "real time/real data."
- The "expert" model is giving way to a peer-to-peer model in the IT research space and other advisory services.
- Companies in this space are on a collision course with the rich data coming from B2B News & Trade publishers. (Hey did you hear that?I thinkit's a good time to bookmark Datapoint!)
Finally, Garnett ended the session with her predictions for the next 12 months, which are; continued if not heightened consolidation; more thinking outside the box for new revenue streams; and a good year for overall growth. Whitmore then closed the conference saying that the audio file will be available on the Analyst Spotlight site within a few days, so you too can listen to this very informative take on the IT research industry.