- What are your coverage areas?
I cover Cloud Transformation Services – basically how advanced technologies are used by consultancies and IT service companies to create and deliver offerings for digital transformation.
- What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
It is much the same as other marketplaces – you have the large incumbents that everyone moans about but continue to use, the disruptive entrants that are the most fun to work for, and the mid-sized firms that are squeezed by both sides. One thing that does bother me about the IT Analysis Marketplace is the lack of young analysts coming through – in many geos this is a side effect of the death of industry trade journalism, which is where a lot of us began our careers. I’m pleased to say 451 is investing in a graduate Research Associate scheme to help address this.
- What’s your typical day like?
I tend to have two different types of day: either I spend the day in my home office writing, researching, taking phone briefings and enquiry calls; or I am traveling to customer sites and events around the world. The former type of day is quite introspective, the other is socially demanding. The variety is part of what makes the job interesting.
- Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Many years ago being disinvited from an event because (I was told) that although I was a tier 1 analyst the vendor had decided I worked for a tier 2 firm. I am not sure in what world that kind of attitude makes for good relationships but most analysts have experienced this kind of nonsense at one time or another.
- How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
I would say 451 Research is a disruptive firm with reasonable scale (more than 120 analysts globally). We deliver a combination of research & data across fourteen channels aligned to the prevailing topics and technologies of digital infrastructure. Our digital transformation coverage spans from the data-center core to the mobile edge.
We differentiate by publishing daily, topical, up-to-date reports via our Market Insights product. We also publish longer pieces of research such as our Voice of the Enterprise quarterly commentator products that we provide in a range of technology areas.
Our customer base is a mix of suppliers, investors and buy-side organizations in that order. However, our readership influence tips that mix on its head, as our commentator network of over 30,000, accesses our research via a “freemium” model.
- What is your research methodology?
We employ a lot of PhDs – indeed by some vendors’ metrics this fact alone would merit rebranding as a big data consultancy – so we undertake primary research. The research is largely conducted via the phone, although where we can we like to meet in person. However, the quantitative team is working with sample sizes that would make face-to-face meetings quite challenging!
- Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
I particularly welcome the all too rare ability to meet customers as part of the “speed-dating” executive 1:1 sessions that vendors provide at analyst events.
- Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
Magdalen in Tooley Street is great and brings back good memories of the CIO dinners Kate Hanaghan and I hosted when we were running K2 Advisory.
- What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
For the rest of the year? Trying to analyze “digital transformation services” in a way that is both meaningful and useful to our audiences. In the next 30 minutes? Deciding which biscuit to have with my cuppa
- Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?
I have a lot of respect for William Fellows, who I have the pleasure of working with at 451 – he is an individual with an encyclopedic knowledge of the cloud industry. Other analysts that I find to be both creative and engaging in the way they work are Kate Hanaghan, Bola Rotibi, and Jess Figueras.