Today’s IIAR> Around in 10 questions interview is with Pete Marston / Research Director, IDC (LinkedIn) who heads IDC’s research on Worldwide Intelligent Application Services.
1. What are your coverage areas?
I lead IDC’s worldwide research on intelligent application services. The coverage reviews how 3rd party providers support buyer organizations with building, testing, deploying, and managing applications. Key research areas center on cloud, DevOps, CI/CD, modern application delivery, application modernization, and next-generation application management.
2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
I think analysts have become more sought out for their insights over the past 12-18 months, especially after the pandemic has ravaged so many industries and organizations. Surprisingly, analysts have been given increasingly more access to executives within organizations and their business imperatives as virtual interaction has become the de facto method for analyst and organization engagement. However, while many aspects of analyst and company interactions have increased and intensified, I think there’s greater pressure for analyst firms to produce higher quality work. Deeper insights, improved accuracy for forecasts and thought leadership, as well as actionable advice that will help organizations better compete for the future are all in greater demand. Like many organizations that are trying to reach prospects and customers at the right time with the right product, at the right place, analysts and analyst firms will have to sharpen the quality of work they produce to stay relevant and in demand moving forward.
3. What’s your typical day like?
Most of my days center on producing research and supporting and executing custom consulting engagements. More recently, internal calls and vendor briefings have taken up more time, but prior to COVID, there was significant time dedicated to traveling to events and meeting leaders and practitioners from vendor and buyer companies alike. Occasionally I’m handling inquiries from both vendors and buyers to share what IDC sees in market trends, vendor and buyer focus areas and imperatives, and best practices.
4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
One time, while visiting a CRM company based in Montana, my analyst colleagues and I were stranded with the AR rep on a highway during a full-on, white out blizzard. Five people… jam-packed in a car… on the side of the highway… for several hours. What really made it a disaster was that we couldn’t go skiing the next day in about 2 feet of powder!
5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model? (where are your revenues coming from, mix between users and vendors?)
IDC aims to support both buyers and vendors with an array of IT market research. However, the lion share of IDC’s research is focused on providing insights and competitive intelligence for IT suppliers, whether it’s from the hardware, software or services perspective. That’s where I’d say our focus is a bit different than other market research providers. We’re always aiming to bolster interactions and relationships with buyers, but our sweet spot has long been supporting technology suppliers and service providers with data and insights to better inform strategies, market opportunities and challenges, and benchmarking.
6. What is your research methodology, in 255 characters or less?
We focus on primary research via briefings, inquiries, IT and business leader surveys, and rfi’s. The network of IDC’s global locations enables us to obtain localized data that we can, in turn, aggregate, cross-tabulate, and develop geographic-relevant insights.
7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
A good AR practice I’ve experienced has really centered on being proactive, organized, and personalized. Having topics and agendas at vendor events (or briefings) that are highly tailored and relevant to me, helps me save time from having to dissect data and draw out “what it means”. Over the past year, my meetings have gone up (probably like most everyone else), and that’s caused increased competition for where I focus my time and energies. When AR teams spend time and effort personalizing my experiences with them in our interactions, it drives me to work harder to make sure I do the same for them.
8. What are your offerings and key deliverables?
IDC’s offerings span research products, consulting services, and events. From a research perspective, IDC offers a range of syndicated research products spanning hardware, software, and services markets, as well as industry-specific and buy-side specific programs. On the consulting services end, IDC offers solutions and services geared to support marketing campaigns and campaign management, like webinars and thought leadership collateral, as well as custom market sizes, data cuts and forecasts to support R&D investments and capital raising initiatives. From an events perspective, IDC offers an array of virtual and in-person events designed to bring industry experts, leaders, practitioners, vendors, and governing bodies together across the globe.
9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
As a former NCAA athlete, I try to stay active. I spend most of my time with my kids teaching them to ski and swim, as well as play baseball, soccer, and lacrosse while my wife and in-laws run a local ice cream shop. When I’m not with my family, I’m chasing wind to go kitesurfing, hitting the mountain to ski, or looking for trails nearby to mountain bike.
10. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work you rate highly?
In my previous life I worked with Bill Band and Ray Wang. Both of them taught me a lot, and I have great respect for who they are, the work they produce, and the invaluable insights they offer. Ray has a never-ending motor and unparalleled thirst for knowledge, while Bill always drew keen insights from research and was an invaluable mentor when I started as an analyst. Both are wonderful people to emulate. At IDC, I’ve admired the level of detail and passion that David Tapper drives out of his research, where he always seems able to tease out the smallest granular details that have the most material impact to vendor and buyer strategies. Ali Zaidi, Gard Little, and Mukesh Dialani are analysts that have cracked the code on how to establish and maintain deep and meaningful relationships with organizations, while Al Gillen is truly remarkable with pulling together and orchestrating diverse analyst talent to regularly produce thought leadership pieces each year.
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