Technology research providers, including the big three -- Gartner Inc, International Data Corp (IDC), and Forrester Research Inc -- have similar, well-established business models. That model includes providing fee-based subscription services, usually segmented into silos by technology area or industry. However, research providers have taken different approaches to incorporating social media into their business strategies. What resonates strongly with some of these strategies is the creation and fostering of a community that will drive research value. IDC has implemented what chief research officer Crawford Del Prete characterizes as a "relevance agenda." For Forrester, one key benefit gained from social media is the number of smart people who are now accessible. The smaller technology research firms are also using social media strategically. These firms often have the ability to move more quickly and be more flexible because they don't have the added levels of hierarchy that come with the territory for the larger firms.
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