Stiff competition in 2018 Services & Cloud Analyst Firm Awards

Steven Taelman picked up HfS's award
Steven Taelman picked up HfS's award
Steven Taelman picked up HfS's award
Steven Taelman picked up HfS’s award

Collectively, the ten winners of the 2018 Services & Cloud Analyst Firm Awards (AFA)  produce three-quarters of all the analyst value reported by services and cloud professionals who participated in the 2017-18 Analyst Value Survey. As in the five other AFA categories, Gartner, IDC and Forrester Research are the top three.

The real competition is between the three following firms: HfS Research, 451 Research and Ovum. They have similar total scores, but that conceals very different user bases and value propositions. HfS Research performs supremely well for its users in this new category. The Services & Cloud space seems to be HfS Research’s sweet spot.

10 winners of the 2018 Services & Cloud Analyst Firm Awards

  1. Gartner remains a leader in cloud computing and has a savvy take on the hype of analytics.
  2. IDC plays a crutial role in helping providers and buyers to see the opportunities for technologies like public cloud and big data.
  3. Forrester Research has a unique value in spelling out the impact of these technologies for tasks as varied as storytelling and enterprise transformation.
  4. HfS Research was appreciated across a range of services areas (including software engineering, AI, and finance) as well as IoT platforms.
  5. 451 Research is combines a practical emphasis on cloud service operations and costs, combined with competitive analysis.
  6. Ovum’s IoT and cloud research has a unique strength in assessing the operator, network and platform perspectives.
  7. Enterprise Management Associates has stood out for its sharp quick takes on the cloud market and pragmatic stance on AI.
  8. Enterprise Strategy Group won its first AFAs this year. In particular, Edwin Yuen has authored valued cloud research. ESG and the other final firms were closely clustered.
  9. Everest Group was especially appreciated for its finance, banking and services research.
  10. Frost & Sullivan was valued, especially by vendors, for its market sizing, market leadership awards, and Asia-Pacific coverage.

Firms to watch

CEO Rick Sturm collects EMA's AFA
CEO Rick Sturm collects EMA’s AFA

New entrant Enterprise Management Associates impressed participants in 2017-18 Analyst Value Survey. Some users appreciate its concrete ‘how-to‘ approach, while vendors appreciate easy to grasp radar for the supply-side.

The squeezing out of CXP Group is, in our opinion, the surprise absence from this list. In our previous, services-only, ranking its PAC team was a strong performer. CXP Group’s BARC business also has great strengths in analytics, but it has limited reach outside the German-speaking region.

ISG, NelsonHall, and Canada’s Info-Tech Research Group also performed well, and could easily enter the top ten next year.


Services & Cloud is a new category this year, integrating four previous awards: IT Services, Strategy, IoT and Big Data. More broadly, the category also covers Platform as a Service; Cloud Applications; Cloud Infrastructure; Cloud Platforms; Business Intelligence; and Analytics. To implement all of these platforms, there must be a consistent security and connectivity, check this out and learn how.

This is part of a series of posts about the six 2018 Analyst Firm Award categories. Each post notes the ten firms that came highest in that category, out of the top 60 firms on which the Analyst Value Survey surveys users. Each post will also include slightly extended comments on two of the firms: one at the start, noting a strong performer in the top group, and one at the end of the post to note a firm that did better than its average in that category. In total the series will contain extended comments on all 12 of the firms which attended the Analyst Firm Awards.

More from Duncan Chapple

Driving Effective European Analyst Relations

In December I’m one of the speakers at a Forrester Research briefing...
Read More