GARTNER, FORRESTER Research, IDC, tools of the American digital supremacy?


In the field of new technologies there are three key players who compete in the market for trends and analyzes in the technology sector, often at the origin of self-fulfilling prophecies, but also many erroneous forecasts. These are the analyst firms Gartner, Forrester Research and IDC.

Gartner : Consulting company founded in 1979, which is the leader in the tech sector. It has more than 5,000 consultants and analysts in 85 countries. Known for the famous Magic Quadran technologies published regularly.

Forrester Research : This consulting and analysis company was created in 1983 in the United States. And through the takeover of European technology companies or consulting companies in this sector, it has been able to establish itself as one of the two main players in this sector.

International Data Corporation (IDC) : Designates itself as the number 1 consulting and analysis firm in the new technology sector.

To finish with the presentation of these three players, they all propose to provide their customers / users with the tools necessary for understanding the sector of new technologies, their potential impacts on the future of established business and to guide them on the transformations to be implemented.

Why is this hegemony problematic?

This is a question that we have the right to ask. Indeed, these firms have access to the highest levels of business decision-making, and therefore have at least an influence on the decisions taken, even a grip on the management teams, which no longer allows the latter to take recommendations with the necessary hindsight. In my past professional life, I have been able to see the damage it could cause on an organization in place …

The most telling anecdote I have in mind, is that of the establishment of the bimodal organization to accelerate the digital transformation of the company. This type of organization aims to separate in the organization of the ISD the classic teams of infrastructure and projects on technologies already in place, and an organization of digital project managers “liberated” from the rules of historical IT . The severe observation made by the Forester on this approach, I was able to verify it in my professional life

On their consulting activity, we can ask about the processes that allow them to select the solutions to be retained. Indeed, only the American players are highlighted, where foreign start-ups but which had to set up in the US to continue their growth, often becoming American companies, their origins being only a distant memory
The second point, is that for the leaders, in particular the CIOs of large or small industrial organizations, listed on the stock markets, it is blessed bread, indeed why go and take the risk of going against these recommendations . We will never fire a CIO for having planted himself following the recommendations of one of these large firms, however taking the risk of a French alternative is a real risk, especially since in large French globalized companies the management is often Anglo-Saxon…

In conclusion

There are two main lessons from my point of view to draw from this situation.
First of all, all of the firms used by large companies are American and there is a tropism for the methodological and application solutions originating or assimilated by the American market. These three firms which are part of it, as prestigious as they are, certainly offer only advice but almost in the manner of “gurus” or “augurs”, sometimes not adapted to the requesting company, by offering tools or methodologies to apply homogeneously without taking into account the differences linked to the size and the recommended corporate culture, or even to the culture and customs of the country of origin of these companies. It is therefore up to managers to rely on this advice, trends to forge their own strategy adapted to their environmental and cultural specificities, and to assume their choice.
What is worrying is that all too often the executives of large groups take refuge behind these consulting firms, or the major players in the market to clear themselves of all responsibility in the event of failure. This attitude leads to the application of organizational, methodological recipes or application solutions from one company to another, with successes which seem to me questionable at best …
Besides, these decisions, or more precisely non-decisions, lead to a behavior of “mee to”, or in French of sheep, if our competitors fund it, it must therefore be done. What if you take the time to think about it is not the winning strategy to gain the significant competitive advantage.
The second point is that it might be time for a consulting firm of this type to emerge in France, or in Europe in order to offer analyzes with a different cultural angle, and which can also push the tech ecosystem. French and / or European. It is indeed important, that European players can give their analyzes based on a real knowledge of the European market and digital and technological players of this market, to put it in perspective of the American market. If we do not take into account our own defense of our actors and our vision, it will be neither the Chinese nor the Americans who will do it for us, which is logical.

What do you think ?

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