“You’re getting very, very sleepy…”
Image from Wikimedia
One strand comprises people who publicly comment on this issue and pass on such comments to journalists. Those are typically marketing people (PR) and analysts, whose biases and funding source render them unreliable [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Open Sources has pushed out a cautious new post about this serious problem.
Others saying they have heard from someone who heard from someone that once they started paying their exposure improved. Others saying it’s just like the rumors that magazine advertisers get better reviews, an accusation that has been levied to Ziff-Davis publications, as well as photography and stereo equipment magazines for years.
”They conduct research more selectively, under someone else’s rules, control and with somebody else’s obligatory figures and methods.“As the text above indicates, it is a known issue. None of this is news. The only lesson to be taken here is that the vast majority of analysts can (and should) be ignored because they are paid by companies with whom they have a personal and financial relationships.
Sadly enough, universities, which were supposed to be the source of some unbiased benchmarks, are gradually being commercialised as well. They are expected to obey parental companies in order to keep their stream of money flowing. They conduct research more selectively, under someone else’s rules, control and with somebody else’s obligatory figures and methods. Disclosure policies are no exception as illustrated by the following
[PDF] leaked correspondence:
[Microsoft manager:] I don’t like the fact that the report show us losing on TCO on webservers. I don’t like the fact that the report show us losing on availability [windows was down more than linux]. And I don’t like the fact that the reports says nothing new is coming with windows .net server.”
I don’t like it to be public on the doc that we sponsored it because I don’t think the outcome is as favorable as we had hoped. I just don’t like competitors using it as ammo against us. It is easier if it doesn’t mention that we sponsored it.
As someone who became a freelance journalist some time ago, I can safely confess that attempts to include reference to the Halloween Documents, for instance, had them watered down. They were intercepted by editors, so there might just be an editorial filter everywhere. █
Older related article: (pointer extracted from the post above)
Research firms make their living by offering expert advice to business and technology people about the best ways to invest their IT dollars. It can be invaluable insight, but only if that analysis comes with no strings attached. And on that, there’s no guarantee.
Forrester, Gartner, IDC, and others insist their output is squeaky clean, yet they also rake in millions providing services to the very same companies they monitor, heavyweights like Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. Which leads to a question that continues to dog the research firms: How much influence do technology vendors have over their work?