• United States
Managing Editor, Network World Fusion

Using consultants

Mar 20, 20032 mins
Data CenterWi-Fi

* Is analyst information worth your time and money?

Now more than ever, time and money are at a premium in today’s companies. You need the former to make the latter. And, if need be, you can spend some money to save yourself precious time.

This week’s Management Strategies article in Network World focuses on the previous concept, in the form of analyst firms. You’ll see analysts quoted often in Network World and other media, given that they’re usually some of the best people in the know when it comes to their specific industry.

Want to know what’s the next big thing with wireless LANs? Sure, you could head to wireless LAN vendors, but their answers will usually revolve around their products and services. Analysts, on the other hand, are ideally objective in their interpretation of technology, trends and the like. These experts do the dirty work – the research, that is – so you don’t have to. Or, more precisely, they get the information you don’t have time to get. Why shell out the dough for an analyst report? It’s like the old joke when the cop asks the crook: “Why did you rob the bank?” Crook: “Because that’s where the money is.”

This week’s article examines several enterprises that rely on analyst information to guide their decision making. Given that a bad technology decision can be costly, a wrong move for a large enterprise like Hilton Hotels could be disastrous. Hilton CIO Tim Harvey is spending more than six figures on analyst information this year to help formulate a strategy for increasing online revenue from customers who previously booked rooms through Hilton’s call centers. Harvey says insight into what online travel services are used, and what percentage of business has shifted to travel sites such as Priceline and Expedia, helps IT determine how to lure customers to the Hilton site.

Check out this week’s Management Strategies story in its entirety to get more information on the use of analyst firms. You’ll also get the opinion of those who don’t rely on analysts and why: