IT-Analysis.com and IT-Director.com have relaunched as to carry and sell research from around 25 upstart analyst firms. The bottom line is that their new business model is very promising and, if it generates the revenue I anticipate, then the technical challenges can be cost-effectively overcome.
Let me set the scene. The successful Bloor Research websites established in 1998, are now independent. IT Analysis Communications (ITA) now owns the sites, and IT-Analysis.com is their initial focus. They have reworked the site so that contributors can easily upload their own articles and submit pdf files that can be purchased. There will be around 25 particpating firms, including Bloor, Evalubase, Hewson, Hurwitz, IDEAS International, IE4C, Luenendonk, METRA martek, MWD, Quocirca, Sageza, Schwartzkopf, Techconsult and other firms represented by Infoedge. Content is also coming into the site from the CIM’s tech group, Taylor Walton, The Federation Against Software Theft, the BPM Group and Conjungo. The Commonwealth Institute is supporting the initiative.
ITA stress the strong platform partners too: ecademy, Firstsave, InfoEdge and Ultra Knowledge. Translution’s translation software will be used to provide local language portals although, as a former Transultion user, I think this goal will be deeply challenging.
ITA also hope that communications professionals working on AR for vendors or media relations agencies will also use the site. News releases can also be posted to the site’s archive and, eventually, will even the flagged on the index page. ITA explains that Hill & Knowlton and Lewis PR are on board, and that they will find it a better way to identify appropriate analysts. Other slides carried the logos of US PR giants Ketchum and Weber Shandwick as well as those of Accenture, IBM, Intel, SAP and Sun Microsystems.
Earlier today I shared some of my thoughts about their new strategy at a meeting they held with people from IBM, CA, Adobe and a number of other firms. My assessment is that this strategy takes advantage of the growing complexity of the information needs of IT managers. Probably 80% of them are using IT research, but only the largest 20% of vendors are subscribing to analyst firms: the others are stealing research, getting reprints subsidised by vendors or hunting online.
Early results suggest that the traffic generated by these valuable IT buyers is a valuable advertising model that is enough to fund the business fully. However, there are also opportunities for ITA to gain commissions on selling research and offering vendors sponsorship options. All in all, it’s a smart move!