Breaking AR news – Gartner buys Burton Group


Edit: If you would like to listen to the the podcast discussing this with Jonathan Yarmis, Dennis Howlett, Naomi Higgins and myself held on 6 Jan at 11.30 EST – please click on the following link: MP3 Link to podcast or play direct from below.

Breaking news just out: Gartner buys Burton Group for $56m

In news just out Gartner have bought Burton Group. This acquisition is another smart move by the 800lb gorilla where they have taken a best-of-breed provider and incorporated into their portfolio.

Gartner’s strength has traditionally been on advising CxO’s about what their technology decisions should be. However, this speciality was also their downfall with firms often seeking a partnership between Gartner (to supply the vision and strategy) and a boutique house (to focus on frontline issues for IT Pros). This move is smart in that (for America at least), they have bought a company that specialises on delivering value to ‘front-line IT professionals’.

Just as when Gartner bought AMR and they strengthened their supply-chain capabilities, this move will help companies cut down their costs by only hiring one firm where previously they may have gone for two. This is no doubt a pragmatic step and greatly enhances their offerings. The main downside is that Burton is only strong in the US. Will we see Gartner also look to buy specialist firms in EMEA too? If so, it would be a prudent decision.

8 thoughts on “Breaking AR news – Gartner buys Burton Group”

  1. Jonny – First I must take you to task. I have worked with Jonathan Yarmis and he is a great analyst — but an independent observer on this situation he most certainly is not!! It would have been nice to have a little less bias.

    As far as both AMR and Burton go I think its important to look at these acquistions in the context of a mature market. Nobody is really winning a great deal of new business from companies who are not already bought into the advisory concept. Its become a zero sum game IMHO. Net result is if you want to grow you start looking for brand extension. Burton and AMR have done well in their own different ways but neither has ever been able to utilize a sales and marketing machine like Gartner. This is about cross-selling services to their existing clients to grow the business. This is not about some grand research strategy – its simply about how Gartner can grow.

    How this applies in Europe I think was a really interesting point that could do with more debate. Europe is not a single market like the US, no matter how much the analyst companies want it to be. For now Gartner will try and sell US generated content into the European market (and Asian) market with the story that its “all globally relevant”. Will they get away with it? for now probably – who exactly is going to challenge them with a great and credible alternative?

  2. Pingback: Gartner gets the IDEAs from Forrester « The IIAR Blog

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