Breaking News from Gartner: Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon by Jon Hansen

Posted on November 14, 2013


Given the “breaking news” in the November 13th, 2013 article “Gartner: CIOs need to address procurement to buy IT from startups,” it seems that the increasingly maligned analyst firm is heralding in an new era of CIO enlightenment regarding the need to engage with smaller IT firms.

Of course based on their industry coverage over the years, it would appear that in serving the interests of their larger customer base, they did everything they could to either ignore outright or minimize, the innovative value of the smaller IT firms they have now deemed to be important.

The challenge is how do you reconcile these two seemingly contradictory realities and still maintain your ongoing creditability in the process.

Gartner is obviously hoping that it’s audience won’t clue in to the fact that has exciting as this proclamation might be, it is decidedly old news!

Take this blog for example.

From our inception in May 2007 we have focused on covering the companies and their solutions that the analyst firms and industry journalists had dismissively viewed as being inconsequential bolt-on offerings or Madison Avenue hype.

This intentionally myopic and somewhat self-serving focus of the Gartners and Spend Matters of the world has played a big part in why, as recently reported in our November 7th post by Kelly Barner, “over 93% of all large technology projects fail.”

The consequences of which were put into crystal clear context in the following excerpt from the ComputerWeekly article;

David Speirs, CIO of newspaper distributor Menzies Distribution, said the company took three years to implement an SAP system, which presented one version of the truth. He said: “We spent the last few years stabilising the platform.” Now that it has been delivered he said the company is ready to move forward with an innovation strategy. “We are dealing a lot more with startups. We are using them a lot more than before because they have fresh ideas.”

The above is a powerful statement, the importance of which is underlined by a discussion I had with a senior executive from CapGemeni when I was speaking in Sweden a couple of years ago.  Specifically, the executive’s indication that in the past they thought in terms of “years relative to the timeline for implementing a solution or strategy.”  In the present day he would add, “we now must think in terms of months if not weeks.”

This is one of the great advantages of the smaller, more innovative players.

It is also the reason why we have created “A Year in the Life of an eProcurement Start-up” Series as well as launching a section of this blog that will be dedicated to “New Wave” companies.

In short, we will enable you to actually get ahead of the start-up curve as opposed to reacting to it after the proverbial horse has gotten out of the barn.

How about that moon landing!

Breaking News . . . maybe to Gartner.

Breaking News . . . maybe to Gartner.


Posted in: Commentary