Analyst house Datamonitor has combined its technology practice with its business analyst group to offer chief information officers research that it claims aligns IT with business needs.
Speaking at a CIO event this morning, veteran IT analyst Jonathan Yarmis said, "Users want technology to support the business." He said research analysts generally provide technology reports, such as papers on Windows 7 features, rather than explain to the CIO how the technology can drive a business requirement.
Technology research director, Ian Charlesworth, said, "The role of IT advisory services has traditionally involved speaking to suppliers and IT departments. Technology research is irrelevant to business."
Instead, Datamonitor, through its acquisition of analysts Ovum and Butler Group, aims to realign its research with a focus on business analysis, looking at how technology can support business requirements.
For instance, healthcare specialist Chris Phelps said research and development of new drugs is the biggest problem facing the pharmaceutical sector. Product development takes many years, but the chance of success is minimal. He said IT such as bioinformatics can de-risk drug development by helping pharmaceutical firms to identify possible failures early in the development process.
Similarly, in retail, Neil Saunders, consumer markets director, said customer loyalty systems can help entice people to shop in a store or online, which is increasingly important as retail profits shrink due to a drop in consumer spending.
Mark Meek, group CEO at Datamonitor, said unlike other analyst houses, Datamonitor employs 600 business analysts and 150 technology analysts, allowing them to collaborate on the IT needs of the healthcare, energy, fast-moving consumer goods, financial services and IT/telecommunications sectors.