Around Stephen Roberts from Kable in 10 questions

Today it is my pleasure to introduce Stephen Roberts from Kable, a specialist IT analysis firm covering public sector in the UK for his own interview in our IIAR Around in 10 questions. Actually, it’s 12 this Friday as Stephen took the joker questions as well. So read on, and don’t forget to book really early to get a table a this favourite restaurant!


  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Public sector ICT, especially in the UK, and the public services trends that drive it. My colleagues each specialise in a specific subsector, such as local government, education, or healthcare, but as Principal Analyst I’m a jack of all trades.
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    Analysts can’t broadcast from ivory towers these days: our communications need to be personal. We’re only doing a good job for customers if our data and insights enable them to make decisions with less in-house resource. That means we need to think about what our findings mean for every customer in particular, rather than for the marketplace as a whole.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    It would be likely to involve briefing customers, studying IT strategy documents from any one of 1700 UK government bodies, and peer-reviewing one of Kable’s market analysis or comment pieces.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    Perhaps we’re lucky – I can’t think of one! Because our analysts cover government sectors rather than technology verticals, we’re less interested than other firms in tech for tech’s sake. So we’re used to being offered – and declining – briefings where it’s difficult to see the application to government ICT, without thinking any the worse of the AR involved.
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
    We provide intelligence for the public services community. Revenues come from subscription services and custom projects, for government and for ICT vendors.
  6. What is your research methodology?
    Whatever it takes to know exactly what’s happening within government bodies and their IT departments: telephone research, tender analysis, FOIA requests, select committee attendance, trawling through meeting minutes and off-record briefings.
  7. Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
    I can think of about seven between whom it would be impossible to choose – all seasoned pros who completely understand what Kable does and what access helps.
  8. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
    We always like it when vendors hold events which are focused entirely on the public sector – or, at the least, when they brief technology analysts separately from financial ones.
  9. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
    Our flagship product, Kable Direct, covers five year spend forecasts and detailed trend analyses in local government, central government, education, healthcare, transport, national security and criminal justice in a series of reports, together with a daily feed of tactical opportunities, news and comment.
  10. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
    Is this a delicate invitation to outline how we might be corrupted? El Bulli is something of a favourite.
  11. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    In the next six months, we plan to take a very good look at what long-term changes in service delivery (co-funding and co-creation) will mean to workflows, processes and KPIs within government bodies. The devil is going to be in the detail for applications vendors.
  12. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work you rate highly?
    Claire Enders is always insightful, especially on consumer markets.
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3 Responses

  1. [...] Stephen Roberts / Kable (read his interview: Around Stephen Roberts from Kable in 10 questions) [...]

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  2. [...] Stephen Roberts / Kable (read his interview: Around Stephen Roberts from Kable in 10 questions) [...]

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  3. [...] you founded yourself and worked for for 18 years). But I’ve had to do a second open letter to Stephen Roberts at Kable (following an earlier one after Kable’s pretty lamentable prediction about how effective Liam [...]

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