Ragged Results Roil Researchers

Consultancies have been forced to evaluate their services.

Market researchers: who needs em? The tight economy has left many IT execs asking just that. Its tough to let your people go while keeping subscriptions to Gartner, IDC, Forrester and Aberdeen. Indeed, many businesses have cast their consultancy subscriptions over the side. This, in turn, has thrown some consultancies into disarray.

How bad is it? Forresters revenues have been nearly halved. All the companies I know have had layoffs. The chain reaction has forced everyone from IT to the consultancies themselves into a much-needed reassessment of the value of the services. No longer can these companies count on a constant revenue stream thanks to automatic renewals. They must substantiate their methodologies value and show a competitive edge.

For Meta Group, its Metaspectrum, a gauge of vendor viability. Forrester, meanwhile, has the Forrester Wave; Gartner has its familiar Magic Quadrant. They all look similar. If you can discern a quantitative difference, let me know.

It does appear, though, that Meta Group is heading in a different direction. Increasingly, it is going to get into the hands-on business process consulting game, previously the preserve of companies such as Accenture and PricewaterhouseCoopers (soon to be part of IBM).

"Its a great growth opportunity for us," said new Meta Group CEO Fred Amoroso. (For my complete interview with Amoroso, go to www.eweek.com.)

Its been a few years in formation, and from here, it looks like a positive development. Meta Group is putting itself much closer to the front lines, playing a part in real-world actions its customers take.

Thats a positive change in a time when responsibility is being rediscovered by a lot of people.

Does your consultancy deliver value? Let me know at stan_gibson@ziffdavis.com.