James McGovern has embarked on his own ‘analyzing the analysts’ series. Today, he analyzes me. James (good naturedly) takes me to task for breaking research mores. He also poses some questions. In this post, I attempt to respond. James’ analysis is in italics. My responses follow inline. Here goes:
J: First, let me get the bashing out of the way. She grew up as a Warrior and I am a Warhawk (Town rivalries) which means that I have to be highly critical of anything she does and therefore analysis will be even deeper seeking out holes than I would do for other analysts.
B: Talk about your past coming back to haunt you! I was a “Warrior” 25 years ago. I suffered defeat against the Warhawks in junior high basketball, but crushed them in high school tennis.
J: Second, my blogroll isn’t filled with very many women bloggers which means that even though she hasn’t acknowledged her duty, she needs to step up and get other women industry analysts to blog. It would be interesting if she could call up some women analysts from Gartner and Forrester and get them to realize the value proposition of having a two-way dialog.
B: True. I did convince Patty to blog. And, I’m not shy about the value of blogging for me. But, I haven’t actively recruited for the cause. In many ways, I think the large firms are best positioned to unleash a few good bloggers. The salary investment for insightful, content rich blogging analysts could be easily absorbed. And the return – community, meaningful conversation – is invaluable. But, guilty as charged.
J: Third, she is one of the only industry analyst bloggers in the United States that isn’t babbling about product-oriented architecture and mentioning the latest greatest vendor she had a discussion with. Is she getting it twisted and think she is in the UK where analysts tend to only focus on customer problems?
B: I laughed out loud at this one. I suppose, this could be attributed to my location at an outer edge of the US. However, the real answer is pretty simple. I want my research to help practitioners add value to their businesses. That goes way beyond (the occasional) shopping for products. This makes me a good community member, and consultant, but a less good (in traditional terms) analyst.
J: Fourth, her blog entries are very insightful. I suspect this is due to the fact that she was once an enterprise architect for L.L. Bean Seems like other analysts in the blogosphere never worked within a large enterprise and therefore have an outsider looking in perspective on our thought processes. I wonder if you could help out other analysts understand what business-driven EA (vs product-oriented EA) really means by not blogging periodically but doing a blogothon and drilling down deep every single day for the next three months.
B: Hmmm… Intriguing, but probably won’t cover my mortgage 🙂 In a perfect world, vendors or industry consortiums would sponsor (but not influence) the research time for the education and evangelism you refer to. Heightening awareness, sharing knowledge, and encouraging community interaction will strengthen everyone’s work in the end. I’ll do my best to increase my blogging frequency, without completely diluting the content.
J: Five, your boss always talks about innovation but I have never seen you discuss this topic. Yes, this word is minimally abused and definetely overloaded. Many EA practitioners believe that EA is all about transformation which is distinct from innovation. Maybe you could tell us what innovation for EA is all about?
B: Sure. I can provide my take on Innovation and EA in a future post. They aren’t mutually exclusive.
J: Six, how come you don’t speak at conferences? I am tired of the mindless dribble that comes from other industry analyst firms. It is so high-level that I have to pretend I am Bill Clinton lighting a big one but not actually inhaling. What would it take for you to speak at an upcoming Infoworld conference? I am sure Jon Udell can hook you up.
B: Good question! Perhaps my style of industry analysis is an acquired taste? I will be speaking at CMG2006. I’m in the process of lining up a couple more.
J: Seven, it’s ok to talk about personal things every once in awhile. What do you drive? Where do you vacation? What was the last book you read? Could you tell us what other industry analysts you have engaged in meaningful dialog with before (I know you and Stephen O’Grady have talked but who else?
B: Ok, prepare to be under whelmed. Summer vacations are lakeside (and trailside) here in Maine. Typically in the Rangeley area. I’m currently reading The Art of the Start, Open Sources 2.0 : The Continuing Evolution and Influence: Science and Practice (4th Edition). Two of my favorite books are Einstein’s Dreams and Orbiting the Giant Hairball : A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace. Steve is one of my favorite industry analysts. Besides work, we have common interests in Maine business development and the Red Sox. I’ve also enjoyed conversations with Jon Udell, my longtime friend Beth Gold-Bernstein, Sandy Rogers, Anne Thomas Manes, and Ron and Jason. Admittedly, I don’t spend a lot of time out on the analyst circuit.
J: Eight, we both have a vested interest in SOA and Portals but what would it take to convince you to start doing a research report on how enterprises can start embracing web 2.0? We know that other analyst firms are clueless to web 2.0 and you will have a headstart of at least six months before they finally get their ah-ha moment.
B: No convincing necessary.
J: Nine, I’m in a sharing mood. What would it take for you to come and visit our enterprise and do a case study on how we do architecture governance or even on practices we use to construct our SOA?
B: Not much. The keys are access to the right people, and navigating the publication approval process.
J: Ten, does your boss know that you actually put references to non-seybold research in your reports? This is even more transparent than what any other industry analyst firm has ever done. Maybe the others will continue their practice of plaigarism and simply stay status quo but you need to talk about why you do this and encourage other analysts in the blogosphere to start doing the same. Transparency builds trust…
B: Yes, Patty knows. I’m not aware of any plagiarism. I read a lot, and presenting as complete a picture as possible, with attribution is in the best interest of my readers, and those I read.