News of a reduction in force at 451 Research (eight analysts and a handful of other staff are affected) will have analyst relations managers looking to see which analysts are affected. The smartest AR professionals will be asking their favourite analysts firms to reach out to their closest analysts at 451 and Uptime (especially those focussed on solutions which are not in 451’s growth areas). The real losers are 451’s clients (again, especially with needs outside 451’s growth areas).
Despite this reduction, 451 will remain one of the most influential firms around. It’s tight connections to privately-held firms are especially important. However, the writing is on the wall: things will get worse before they get better (in the areas where 451 is scaling back or replacing experienced analysts with new analysts). 451 fell in February’s Strategy Analyst Firm Awards and, even more dangerously in last month’s IoT Analyst Firm Awards [IoT is the hottest topic for 451 users]. 451 has a strong record in delivering value to people on the supply-side, especially in North America, but there seem to be weakening perceptions about the independence of its research (according to the Analyst Value Survey). 451 has struggled further not only to internationalize, but also to create more emotional value for clients through better events, peer networking (something which could be addressed through the purchase of Wisegate), and more and proactive support for lead generation for its clients.
451 certainly know how to get a lot of that right. Its events are too few, but they can be excellent (and 451 increasingly takes advantage of events and webinars organized by partners). This reduction in force can be a step forward if it frees up resources to be focussed on value creation for clients.
PS: Comments have been added to this post (in round brackets) following an update from 451. Look out on their blog for more.