Is there room in the marketplace for another influential
research and analysis powerhouse to rival Gartner? Gideon Gartner thinks so
.

At Knowledge Capital Group’s recent Analyst Relations Summit in Orlando, Gideon
noted that there are 50 million
enterprise IT users worldwide. However, only a fraction of them — 20 thousand —
have advisory seats with the Stamford, CT-based research firm that bears his
name. (Gideon, by the way, cashed out a long time ago — though his name still hangs on the billion dollar research firm.)

Given that Gartner is the “900 pound gorilla” in the analyst research world, its opinions carry enormous weight. Analysts at that particular firm have the power to make or break a deal (or vendor). So, when companies launch thought leadership marketing initiatives, they are often responding to or building on research produced by the firm.

While other companies such as Forrester, IDC or Tower Group may be influential in particular market segments, Gartner — which gets the majority of its revenue from end users and therefore, is relatively independent — remains king of IT analysis.

Gideon believes there is great opportunity to go down market and reach all the other individuals who need research and an expert’s advice to make a smart IT decision. So far, no one has really jumped at the challenge. A new model, he believes, would rely on the expertise of a network of independent analysts — much as his previous firm, Giga (which was later sold to Forrester), did.

The problem, he believes, is capital. As he noted, it takes a lot of money to bankroll a sales force that could go out and sell these services to a wider audience.

But what if these services were sold on a direct marketing model? Perhaps there’s an opportunity to sell IT advisory services on a wider scale by adopting a new marketing model that isn’t dependent on a large, expensive field sales force. It might sell these services the way CDW or Dell sell computers to the SMB marketplace.

Any takers? I think it’s a cool idea. If you buy the premise and see a way to make it happen, please give me a ring.