Page Two

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2002-10-09 Print this article Print

: Interview With Michael Fleisher"> Fleisher: That vast majority of our clients have clearly voted that we are not a luxury but that we are a necessity in terms of how they run their business from everyday. Last fiscal year, our business grew 11 percent and our profitability increased. This fiscal year our business is down 3 to 5 percent, but our profitability will grow. Our renewal rates have remained rock solid. The reason our business is down a little bit is because in this climate its much tougher to sell someone who isnt already a client.
EWEEK: One of your analysts, Audrey Apfel, said there is no big technological imperative right now. For Gartner, that cant be good news, can it?
Fleisher: Actually I think its perfectly fine news. There is not some big huge innovation that is massively changing the way work is done, but there are huge opportunities to be had from implementations of technology at most businesses around the world. There are business opportunities from the application of technology. But were saying dont be fooled into thinking there is some big innovation around to corner, and therefore you dont need to make the tough bets and spend the money you need to spend today. EWEEK: But it helps to have a next big thing, doesnt it? Fleisher: There will always be themes about what our clients need to do to be successful. Right now were talking about the "real-time enterprise" and the business value of IT. But maybe more importantly, we see our role not as prognosticators of the future, but as guidance givers and advisers with very pragmatic advice for our clients. Our client renewal rates have been unwavering because we dont make money by selling some wild projection but in giving our clients good advice. Some of the folks that sell prognostications exploded positively during the dot-com era but now they have disappeared or fallen dramatically. EWEEK: Are you seeing a lot of resumes from people who worked at those companies? Fleisher: Were seeing a lot of resumes from all walks of life. A lot of good people who left Gartner during the dot-com boom now would like to come back. As business gets better, we may be in a position to hire some talented people back. EWEEK: IBM has been absent for a few years from your keynoter lineup. Whats going on there? Fleisher: We would love to have them participate. The challenge that all of these guys have is scheduling. IBM historically had conflicts this week in October. Were hopeful that IBM CEO Sam [Palmisano] can join us in the future. We met and chatted recently and he really wants to come and participate.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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