No Head-to-Head Assessments

I agree that H2H technology assessments are valuable sources of information for CIOs, CTOs, and other enterprise technology executives. However, they will have to look elsewhere for the H2H assessments. I don’t do H2H technology vendor assessments.

My rationale

There are six reasons that shape my rationale not to do a H2H assessment:

  1. It can lead a technology analyst down a slippery slope to become a member of the “world’s oldest profession” (and no, I don’t mean becoming a banker)
  2. It takes too long (a H2H assessment can take 4 or 5 months)
  3. Technology firms incorrectly believe that analyst firms are PR or Marketing Communication firms. I don’t care if the analyst spend budget is coming from the technology vendor’s marketing department, or worse the sales department. Analyst firms exist to create independent, objective thought leadership.
  4. The assessment doesn’t necessarily represent all the technology firms providing a solution in the space being analyzed. A technology vendor may be too busy; a technology firm may not like what the analyst / analyst firm has written about them in the past; or the technology vendor didn’t like where they were placed the last time the analyst / analyst firm did a similar H2H assessment focusing on the same solution space).
  5. Life is too short to spend to invest spending more than a half a second discussing why the analyst uses the “weights” for the various capabilities researched in the analysis or discussing why the technology vendor didn’t make the short list or discussing why the technology vendor is placed where they landed in the quadrant / matrix / curve in the final report.
  6. Analyst firms are not PR or Marketing Communication firms. This is a point that I really don’t think can be repeated enough times during a day.

A Confession

I confess that my attitude about H2H assessments did not, and does not, place me in high esteem in the analyst firms that have employed me. However, it is a decision I made in the late 1990s when I first became an analyst. Fortunately we did not do H2H technology vendor assessments that I remember at The META Group … and we certainly did not do them in the insurance strategic advisory service that I led as VP and Service Director.

However, I do…

However, I do profile technology vendors: their strategy, business model including their revenue model, value proposition, go-to-market strategy and their channel mix, solution deployment options, market dynamics, competitive dynamics, current applications, future road map, and potential applications for insurers.

But H2H assessments? No.