Welcome back -

Services for Organizations

Using our research, best practices and expertise, we help you understand how to optimize your business processes using applications, information and technology. We provide advisory, education, and assessment services to rapidly identify and prioritize areas for improvement and perform vendor selection

Consulting & Strategy Sessions

Ventana On Demand

    Services for Investment Firms

    We provide guidance using our market research and expertise to significantly improve your marketing, sales and product efforts. We offer a portfolio of advisory, research, thought leadership and digital education services to help optimize market strategy, planning and execution.

    Consulting & Strategy Sessions

    Ventana On Demand

      Services for Technology Vendors

      We provide guidance using our market research and expertise to significantly improve your marketing, sales and product efforts. We offer a portfolio of advisory, research, thought leadership and digital education services to help optimize market strategy, planning and execution.

      Analyst Relations

      Demand Generation

      Product Marketing

      Market Coverage

      Request a Briefing

        Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

        << Back to Blog Index

        Industry Analyst Art or Fiction: Questionable Technology Predictions

        I recently wrote about how technology vendors attempt to skew analysts’ and influencers’ research from the edit and review cycles controlled in financial contracts to payment for placed blogs as independent analysis published on the Internet. It is unfortunate that we have to deal with this level of bias. Clearly it is critical for business and IT to identify trusted sources of research and insight that can help determine technology direction. Businesses need not just data but insights from experienced advisors who can provide information with depth and meaning. Unfortunately, a recent pronouncement or prediction from one analyst firm throws a bad light on technology analysts in general.

        Most people do not realize that the majority of technology analyst firms focus on serving CIOs and the IT organization. Why is this important? If you want to understand what technologies businesses are not just using but renting and purchasing, you cannot get a true picture from an analyst firm that advises IT exclusively and that does not do research into line-of-business departments. For some reason, though, analyst firms positioned this way nonetheless predict technology trends in business, and with no level of uncertainty. You have to question predictions from analyst firms that use no science or rigor in their research and have no experience in the roles they propose to represent.

        The latest example I found of this questionable research is a Gartner prediction that the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017. I saw some follow-on review on this prediction, and it appears to be based on a percentage-of-overall-revenue comparison of two different research surveys – a budget spend by IT from one survey compared to different survey on the budget of marketing organizations in the telecommunications industry. The analysis then uses another survey from a university research statistic on percentage of revenue spend on marketing budget to present comparison of the overall percentages. I did not see any specifics on percentage of overall budget for technology from either CIO or CMO being presented, yet we know that that number is significantly higher for a CIO than it is for a CMO, who has a larger portfolio of non IT spend on advertising, events and other services. In my opinion, this prediction is more than suspect.

        This skewed comparison has no basis in reality. Comparing companies’ CIOs’ and CMOs’ overall budgets based on varying-sized companies and budgets and then using those numbers to make conclusions about the true subset of technology spending across departments compared to other spending is comparing apples to peanuts to potatoes. If the research analyzed overall spending on and allocation for technology, comparing one company at a time and using specific-sized companies, it would be harder to find fault with the results – and they would likely be different. Those in the industry know that marketing spend percentages differ according to the size and stage of various companies and the markets in which they operate.

        This CMO spend prediction needs some research science under it, as it does not appear to be well-crafted nor accurate, and should not attempt to make a prediction about an entire industry of CMO spending more on IT than CIO. In addition, the research statistics should not be used by vendors to support the assertion that CMOs should spend more on IT to keep up with others, since that is utterly inaccurate. I have been a head of marketing and a CMO in the technology industry. I understand technology spending in marketing. My experience alone does not allow me to make projections on the entire CMO and marketing spend, but I do know the basis on which you can and cannot compare research statistics and then project to a prediction. This kind of analysis misstep should have been scrutinized in a research review. It should not be presented as a headline for technology vendors to use to influence or bias the market.

        We need better research and science to help our industry, and research firms needs to do a better job policing research statistics before their reports turn into headlines that just shine a bad light on technology analysis.

        I, Mark Smith, approve this message and verify that this article was not reviewed, edited, paid for or approved by any technology vendor before it was published.


        Mark Smith

        CEO & Chief Research Officer


        Mark Smith
        Partner, Head of Software Research

        Mark Smith is the Partner, Head of Software Research at ISG and Ventana Research leading the global market agenda as a subject matter expert in digital business and enterprise software. Mark is a digital technology enthusiast using market research and insights to educate and inspire enterprises, software and service providers.


        Our Analyst Perspective Policy

        • Ventana Research’s Analyst Perspectives are fact-based analysis and guidance on business, industry and technology vendor trends. Each Analyst Perspective presents the view of the analyst who is an established subject matter expert on new developments, business and technology trends, findings from our research, or best practice insights.

          Each is prepared and reviewed in accordance with Ventana Research’s strict standards for accuracy and objectivity and reviewed to ensure it delivers reliable and actionable insights. It is reviewed and edited by research management and is approved by the Chief Research Officer; no individual or organization outside of Ventana Research reviews any Analyst Perspective before it is published. If you have any issue with an Analyst Perspective, please email them to ChiefResearchOfficer@ventanaresearch.com

        View Policy

        Subscribe to Email Updates

        Posts by Topic

        see all

        Analyst Perspectives Archive

        See All