IT research reports market to grow 9% this year

Outsell, Inc. is forecasting that spending on IT reports and research will grow 9% this year. That’s almost double the growth rate for 2005 when Outsell’s estimate was 5%, as shown in their diagram on the right. (Updated from earlier this week: Thanks to Outsell for permission to use this diagram, which enlarges when clicked upon.)

It’s one of many findings in its Information Industry Outlook: FutureFacts 2007 document, which make it required reading for every senior AR manager. Look back over the last year, it spotlights Gartner’s acquisition of META in April 2005, saying that:

This has provided an opportunity for Forrester, IDC, and others to garner
freedup budget dollars that were previously allocated to META. While many
companies had double-digit growth, Gartner’s META acquisition pulled down the
overall growth rate in 2005.

Outsell also highlights five of the fastest growing firms:
– Cutter Consortium
– ITtoolbox
– Info-Tech Research Group
– Telephia
– Burton Group

These are, of course, US firms and in some ways we feel that Outsell’s report reflect the greater availability of data about US firms, as well as Outsell’s lack of offices and partners outside the US. There are certainly faster growing firms in Asia/Pacific.

However, the general trend of Outsell’s forecast is reasonable: we have to agree with Outsell’s expectations for ongoing M&A activity, something that we refer to as the Analyst Cycle.

Like most attempts to size any market, Outsell’s forecasts for the analyst industry use different definitions but come to similar conclusions about the overall trends.

Outsell focusses on the information publishing side of the business, both online and in print. It therefore defines the market narrowly (to IT) and the scope of services (it focusses on reports and research). Its approach excludes much of the advisory, consulting, community, events and other diverse services in the industry. However, these are simply differences in definitions. The resulting market size estimate might define the market far more narrowly than, for example, Gartner does, but the overall trend is similar to other forecasts.

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