It’s been a decade since I wrote this post in which I said
We all have our roles to play – but put yourself on the grid of 1000 and see what steps, decision makers, and influence impact you have on a technology buying decision. I do it all the time on transactions I help with. It is a humbling experience to see how little I individually – and for that matter all other influencers and advisors – have in the decision.
I am smiling when I read Tim Kopp’s post taking potshots at analysts like Gartner and Forrester. To start with I like his investment in G2 Crowd and its crowdsourcing of buyer ratings of technology products. I like the fact that they are focused on “mid-market, emerging categories and SMB software solutions.” I particularly like it since my Enterprise Irregular colleague, Mike Fauscette, is Chief Research Officer at G2.
But Kopp is stretching his point if he thinks companies just rely on Magic Quadrants or Waves – or if he thinks they will just rely on the G2 ratings in the future.
And like my other EI colleague, Jason Busch points out even Gartner has plenty of peer based, in some ways a more qualified crowdsourced, input. As a Gartner analyst I took thousands of client calls a year and that was our “finger on the pulse” of the market.
Technology buying and selling is a complex dance which may some day be done by machine to machine negotiation, but not anytime soon. Try doing that when vendors have hundreds of “engines” each with its own licensing units – users, employee count, virtual machines, revenues etc. And have learned to make a significant revenue stream from audits to trap customers who don’t comply with such arcane licensing rules. Try doing that when buying organizations need multiple signoffs for anything costing more than $ 1,000.
Frankly, more than its Magic Quadrants, I worry more about Gartner’s planning assumptions which clients factor in their decisions. In writing my last book, Silicon Collar about automation and impact jobs I was dismayed with several of its wild projections. I hope Gartner mans up and acknowledges that these projections for 2018 will not come true now that we are only a few months away
- 20 percent of business content will be authored by machines.
- more than 3 million workers globally will be supervised by a “robo-boss.”
- 45 percent of the fastest-growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines.
- Digital businesses will require 50% fewer business process workers
But back to technology evaluations – with so many people and complex jargon and legalese involved in a technology transaction, it is naïve to expect we will shrink the “thousand points of influence” any time soon.
(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)