IT managers want more action, says Meta boss

When we interviewed newly appointed Meta Group president CD Hobbs, he revealed what was behind the recent executive shake-up at...

When we interviewed newly appointed Meta Group president CD Hobbs, he revealed what was behind the recent executive shake-up at Meta and what he thought IT managers wanted from analysts and consultants.

What were the drivers for the executive departures and promotions at Meta Group?

Over the past several years, our organisation has become top-heavy. We had some executives who were more removed from the market than they should have been.

I'm pretty hands-on and I like to have our executives involved in service delivery. We had become removed from that, so I removed a number of executives I don't have to replace. That says something right on its surface. As we continue to develop and implement our model, we'll insist on managers who are hands-on.

What are the key factors shaping the IT research market?

Customers are looking for more than comprehensive recommendations. They're interested in actionable recommendations and making them into efficient and effective executions. It's about getting our hands dirty and taking executions on behalf of our clients. For example, saying, "Here are the three ERP systems best suited for a company your size." Then we get involved in the RFP process and the bake-off and assessing the project under a one- or two-year cycle.

We're working with the client more deeply on investment than before. That doesn't mean we're interested in doing the implementation. But I think we're a viable element of risk management for a client.

How is this different from the approach taken by Gartner, Forrester and other competitors?

If you want decision support, Meta is the group to go with. If you want raw research, you can use a variety of different sources. Meta was always the ally that I wanted in the midst of a decision. If I wanted my Meta relationship on the phone three times a day to make a decision, they were there. That differentiation is still there.

Are there other changes you're planning to drive?

We need to hone our ability to package our research into units the market can consume. Making it available in meaningful packages that make them useful for clients.

We're trying to develop client-ready information from the various points of research we have. So the focus will be on that and trying to get all of our market ratios in line to make all of our operating units profitable.

Thomas Hoffman writes for Computerworld

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