Building a relationship with a technology analyst firm is something that within my network will promote much debate.

On the one hand there’s much to be said for the ability to use the likes of Gartner to shortcut doing research in house. They also provide a rough guide to where things might be going.

On the other, what’s the point of having strategic management of technology in your organisation if you’re just going to adopt your strategy straight off the shelf from Gartner?

To understand the role of analysts, you need first to understand what it is that a client is buying: skills and expertise, assurance, the ability to justify a decision, the ability to reject a decision. The list goes one. It’s not “research”.

Building a relationship with an analyst firm is similar to building strategic partnerships with vendors; to a great extent your ability to do so depends greatly on your size and influence. But I’ve no doubt that person-to-person relationships have much to play too, and sometimes can override the pure numbers involved.

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I’ve recently launched Stamp London’s first physical product – a set of playing cards called CIO Priorities. You can find out more about them here, and order a set for yourself here (or simply download the PDF and print them out).

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