Advisory Client Satisfaction Issues

Gideon Gartner on Measuring the Value of IT AdvisoriesA recent question posed to fifteen CIOs (or equivalent)  regarding value received from Advisory deliverables,  resulted in the answers below (Gartner was not mentioned by me, but virtually all of these were Gartner clients)

The question:

How do you measure the value you obtain from your current IT advisory service subscriptions?

The answers:

  • We don’t measure it.
  • Not sure we’re getting value for the money we spend.
  • I find that staff members are not using the services very much.
  • It would be helpful to have a methodology for measuring the value.
  • Not sure how much value we get from the analysts’ answers.  You have to find the right analyst.
  • We often hear, “That’s not included in your service.”
  • There seems to be more sales and marketing staff than analysts.  I don’t want to be bugged by them.
  • Gartner is dominant; Forrester is diminished.  I would like more diversification of opinions.
  • Sales people don’t care how much you use the service, as long as it’s enough to keep you subscribing.
  • I don’t have enough time to encourage staff to use the service.
  • It would help me to tie money for a research service to specific projects.
  • Organize other sources, e.g. academics, to provide information at variable costs.  Academics aren’t looking for high fees because they already have incomes.
  • Analysts aren’t practitioners.
  • I have a sense that Gartner only writes about companies that pay Gartner.
  • Vendors have labs in which staff can try things out.

The question seems to have been quite generally stated, and might have been better framed in terms of the ratio of value received to price paid! And to the extent that  Advisory names are not mentioned above, the few answers captured  might or might not be relevant. I’m quite certain that some value is likely to  almost always be obtained, but not necessarily in line with prices paid!

The simple concept of a ratio such as  ‘value to price’, sounds quite reasonable for someone/sometime  to try and collect. In the case of the vendor clients of Advisories, the ratio might be meaningless when some impossible-to-measure percent of total payments  were meant to influence favorable reviews via  Analyst Relations.  But for user clients of Advisories, one should certainly expect a ratio greater than one  (at least!). I suspect that the ratio would often (if not virtually always) be less than 1.

Perhaps some users have attempted to calculate or at least estimate such a ratio, but I somehow doubt that,  because  quantifying values would be extremely costly (if doable at all).

Perhaps we should re-consider  the  seat-of-the-pants opinions of those who responded to the question above,  even though their comments may not represent hard facts.  The answers  represent  qualitative , not quantitative judgments, and  seem (somewhat) surprisingly one sided. Well, I was not surprised:  client executives might or should insist that their staffs utilize Advisories more efficiently, and/or that the Advisories should  voluntarily reduce their research prices, or more likely  improve decision-support’ quantity and quality levels.  Good luck with that!  Advisories  themselves might be able to train clients  to more efficiently utilize  their deliverables, but I see no evidence of any such actions… but I have seen many examples of the under-utilization of Advisory research, let alone the deficiencies of much current “research” these days.







Leave a Reply