Fersht: Drag analysts into the as-a-service economy

Phil Fersht

Derk Erbe opened the Analyst Relations Forum at The Proud Archivist on November 5th by regretting the absences of Scott Santucci, and by stressing the role of the forum: to connect the dots around AR, including the different stakeholders that benefit from AR and the various angles from which AR people need to understand the rapid disruption of the market. It’s challenging to understand the changing situation, and to reflect that the Forum has moved from the 18th-century glamour of King’s College to a swish modern venue on the edge of London’s Tech City.
The event reflects’ Kea’s threefold expertise: Research work (the Analyst Value Survey, Analyst Attitude Survey, Influencer Quadrant and other research into vendors and their interactions with the analysts, led by Duncan Chapple); the increasingly important area of digital media (where Thom Erbe helps clients to map, understand and boost their footprint online and make the most of content marketing possibilities); and Engagement, our AR-as-a-service offer for both large and small vendors,  through which Sven Litke’s team help organisations to set their AR on firmer foundations, or to become more powerful and focused. Kea provides the AR Forum as a space to combine these perspectives.
Phil Fersht was the keynote speaker, discussing the new firms that have emerged in the last decade and detailing how their business model and value proposition are changing. Phil outlined the rise of upstart analysts and the rise of ‘as-a-service’ skills. I think the parallel was fascinating. How far are there parallels between the disruption of advisory and analyst services, on the one hand, and the rise of the x-as-a-service? Indeed, are there opportunities for the high-touch soft skills to be developed more in upstart analyst firms, paralleling the need for soft skills in other services firms? Similarly, is the overwhelming concentration of job creation in small enterprises also going to be where growth is concentrated for industry analysts.
The growing social intelligence needed, argued Phil, means that the events business is resurging. Face to face encounters provide a way to build reputations, to spark creativity and to improve. This need to interact more socially and physically will be crucial in the years ahead.

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