We are in the midst of a technological change as big as the industrial revolution when it brought us steam power and electricity. IT is becoming mobile, and digitization is affecting all industries, the public sector, and society as a whole. Thirty years ago, there were no smartphones, no apps, no Internet, no broadband, no cloud, nor big data. More importantly, there wasn’t a Google, Facebook, or Amazon around to drive perceptions and behaviors.
So why is it that IT research companies–the technology visionaries–continue with the same business and engagement model they established 30 years ago? Because they didn’t need to change; the status quo is very profitable and organizations keep purchasing research licenses. The dominant Information Technology Research firms serve up content and analyst services in the same way they have for the past several decades; analyst reports offered to business customers on a per-seat basis.
So, why am I writing this? Because I believe that the IT research industry needs to fundamentally change to be relevant and of sustainable value to its customers. I lived in this world as President of Burton Group from 1998 through the sale of the company to Gartner in 2010. At the time of the sale, I was concerned about the accelerating availability of quality content and the impact of “free content” on the viability of the traditional research and advisory services model. While IT research has prospered over the past several years, I keep wondering if the old model is right for the new, innovative world enterprises and consumers live in. I don’t think it is.
So when I started the technology research/consultancy firm TechVision Research in 2015, I started with the premise that IT HAD TO BE DIFFERENT from the legacy Research and Advisory Services firms. The core concepts are simple, but I believe critical to addressing the evolving needs of enterprises today. I started with the premise that there needs to be full enterprise access to all content and analysts a reasonable price. The analysis has to be independent, deep, pragmatic, actionable and leverage experiential knowledge gained by proven experts.
These concepts aggregate into five Foundational Principles that are the genesis of TechVision Research and the soul of a new research company.
The foundational principles for the next generation technology research company are:
Principle 1: Knowledge must be available to everyone involved in technology decisions.
- Decision making is becoming decentralized.
- Knowledge feeds perspectives.
- Knowledge drives understanding and consensus.
Research is of no value if you can’t access it. The goal is to maximize enterprise value with pervasive, consistent access to all content and analysts. Most large-scale projects will be better served if all team members have access to a common framework including research reports, analyst dialogs, consistent definitions and reference architecture templates.
Principle 2: Research and consulting are better together:
- Book-learning is not the same as experience.
- Experience tempers research; makes it useful.
- Experience drives research topics as real problems are discovered.
Legacy research companies tend to separate their consulting and analyst teams resulting in content that can have an “ivory tower perspective” without the insights of on-the-ground experience. All TechVision Research analysts are also consultants and with our most senior staff designated as Principal Consulting Analysts. We heavily leverage real-world enterprise consulting engagements into every aspect of our research and recommendations. Enterprise decisions are not just “speeds and feeds,” but should be based on a deep understanding of business goals and how an organization operates. This “on-the-ground” consulting experience includes technology strategy development, vendor evaluations, deployment plans, reference architectures and experience as to what works and doesn’t work in the real world.
Principle 3: Serve the consumer of technology:
- We help enterprises understand the business value of technology.
- We help enterprises prepare for the transformative effects of technology.
- We help technology suppliers understand the struggles enterprises face.
We develop our content and recommendations with the technology “end-user” in mind. Our focus is on helping organizations make the right technology decisions and influence the technology, business models and changes needed to improve the state of “technology-consuming” organizations. When we assist vendors and service providers it is with the same goal in mind; improve the technology landscape for end-user organizations.
Principle 4: Hire people that have been there and done that:
- Experienced people accelerate the decision-making process.
- Experienced people know where the speed bumps are.
- Experienced people know that technology decisions are multidimensional – impacting organization, process flows, and business rules.
Organizations are bringing in analysts or consultants to help make difficult decisions, to assist in the navigation of dynamic new technologies and to get an informed perspective on complex topics. Our Principal Consulting Analysts average 25+ years of practical experience in multiple areas; CTOs, LOB leaders, consultants, research analysts, and visionaries. The deep experience helps guide our clients through the hard decisions with a pragmatic perspective.
Principle 5: Technology is a transient among business constants:
- Enterprise “jobs to be done” are consistent, the ways they are done change over time. New technology simply replaces an old way of doing things and is itself destined to be replaced.
- Technology not converted into business value is just another “bright shiny object”.
- Technology solutions that ignore the foundations of identity, security, privacy, governance architecture put the business in peril.
Technology is constantly evolving and one of the biggest challenges enterprises face is how to incorporate new technology into the existing business in ways that build business value without unnecessary risk. At TechVision, we take a pragmatic view of technology through the lens of foundational elements such as identity and access management, cybersecurity, privacy, information asset management and governance, and enterprise architecture. We help our clients “connect the dots” when adopting technology to keep the focus off of “bright shiny objects.”
The “Soul of a New Research Company” puts the client first with high value, highly accessible, grounded research and consulting—available when and where needed with the context necessary to make the hard decisions. We will gladly prove to any qualified end-user organization that we practice what we preach. Click here Complimentary Research and Analyst Access to test drive our new model for research, consulting and client engagement.