When An Analyst Joins Your Competitor

What happens when An Analyst Works For Your Competitor?

Information Week has picked up on one of the most interest stories being talked about here at Symposium: Howard Dresner, one of the best known analysts in any field, and a leading Business Intelligence expert, is leaving Gartner to join smooth BI leaders Hyperion.

Analysts often cross over onto the vendor side, especially because firms like Gartner are enthusiastic about non-competitive clauses in its employment contracts which prevent employees from continuing to work as an analyst for a period of time if they leave Gartner. Someone like Richard Stiennon, formerly a top Gartner security analyst, for example, is possibly worth more to another analyst firm than to a vendor, but can only take employment on the vendor side for a certain period of time.

But this forces Gartner’s analysts into a difficult position: to leave ethically, they have to start flagging up to their clients and colleagues that they intend to leave.

What Dresner has done, to start that process several months in advance, is praiseworthy. Several months is a long time, during which things could change a lot, either in an analyst house, in a vendor, or in an analyst’s life. Both the analyst and the analyst house have to accept a substantial downside in the analyst’s ability to gather knowledge and advise clients during that period.

Clearly, from Gartner’s point of view, that down-side is worth much less than the risk of allowing its competitors to offer a home to analysts who want to move on and up in the analyst industry.

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