Corkscrew or Cathedral?

C S Lewis once said this:The first qualification for judging any piece of workmanship from a corkscrew to a cathedral is to know what it is – what it was intended to do, and how it is meant to be used!

This applies to Insight Services (variously called analysts, research and advisory services). If you doubt that they are misused, have a look at the AnalystAnalyst blog (another thing I caught on my “Return to Work”). If IT is using external authority to justify decisions already taken, and push them through the Governance Board because the Board expects “endorsed by Gartner”, the battle is already lost.

So you need to know how to identify and buy the right services, and how to manage delivery and demonstrate value. InformationSpan and the Corporate IT Forum have scheduled a seminar in London, on 24th September, which will provide users with the tools to move in this direction. Your organisation doesn’t have to be a member of tif. to attend, though there’s a fee discount if you are. (If you’re not within reach of London, call me!)

I talk about “Insight Services”, because their role is to provide both broader and specialist insight to help IT make its decisions. Not to dictate what those decisions should be! And a Board should know that IT strategy is shaped by the best information available. internal and external; that its team are trusted to apply that information in the context of the business and its needs; and that the investment made in these services – like any other – is returning value. It’s an ongoing relationship, not a hit-and-run engagement.

How do you tell the corkscrew from the cathedral? You can’t ask the analysts themselves! And most commentators in this arena come at it from IT’s supply side perspective. They support Analyst Relations professionals – vendors and service providers. InformationSpan is unique in approaching the field from the user enterprise viewpoint.

Did you know there are over 400 different firms out there offering service, from the global majors to start-up specialists? You’ll get a new direction on how to select, buy and manage an insight services portfolio, and a workbook to take back to your team. You’ll get the chance to share your own experience with fellow participants and shape the workshop outcomes. I might learn something too!

Follow the links below to read more and register. See you there!

• The Expert Guide to Managing Analysts and Research Partners Verbatim (Corporate IT Forum blog), 20 Aug 2008 – you will need to create a free Guest account to visit this page
• Ass-covers AnalystAnalyst blog, 14 Jun 2008, and commentsC S Lewis, philologist and theologian

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