Industry Analysts & Transformation

5 Ways to Leverage Industry Analysts Throughout Your Digital Transformation Journey

By Laura Stevenson / April 13, 2021

5 Ways to Leverage Industry Analysts Throughout Your Digital Transformation Journey

Every company is in the midst of significant change and transformation, and rates of change have accelerated—and continue to do so—in response to the unprecedented global pandemic. Even when the world emerges, it will be profoundly different, more digital, and with new business models.

Some trends we are seeing:

  • Ecosystems emerge: According to Gartner Research, when every company becomes a software company, the tech industry undergoes a paradigm shift: “In the Gartner Technology and Service Provider 2025 Survey, 46% of surveyed technology providers have created their own ecosystem, and 46% participate in another provider’s ecosystem [1].” This feels like a leapfrog from a tech company to an ecosystem company.
  • Marketplaces dominate: According to Forrester Research, “Marketplaces already account for 60% of B2C e-commerce. With B2B destined to follow this trend in many sectors, there are still first-mover advantages—especially in vertical or regional markets [2].” And it was spurred into a frenzy by COVID-19: Fueled by marketplaces, e-commerce experienced 10 years’ worth of growth during the first three months of COVID-19 [3].
  • Providers go direct to customers: “Vendors are increasingly pursuing more direct relationships with partners and customers that rely on data—data that has been locked up in distribution networks as each participant in the value chain optimized for its own wallet share [4]."

With nearly all companies rapidly transforming, how can you learn from others to avoid pitfalls and chart your path for more successful, faster, and lasting change? How can your teams execute using the knowledge of peers they may never meet?

Industry analysts speak with hundreds, even thousands of companies undergoing change—at every level of the enterprise. They amalgamate key learnings; the good, the bad, and the ugly. They are positioned to share their expertise with their customers—which are most mid to large-sized companies.

At AppDirect, we work with the leading analyst firms and several boutique firms. Like most technology vendors, we brief the analysts about AppDirect, our vision, capabilities, and roadmap, as well as our customers and their journeys. We provide additional context around the business challenges we see in the field and how some of the most successful organizations are navigating these digital waters.

However, we also engage with Analysts to learn about what they are hearing—particularly related to transformation. An Analyst inquiry is a 30-minute block of time available only to analyst firm subscribers. At AppDirect, we find this information extremely valuable to get insight into trends, successes, and how we can further shape our product to alleviate many of the complexities faced in today’s digital world.

Analyst inquiries are extremely valuable for every company. During an analyst inquiry, clients can:

1. Dive deeper into research that interests you and is relevant to your stage in your journey. 

You may have seen the new report, Forrester New Tech: Marketplace Development Platforms and Tools—which is Forrester’s first dive into the technology behind marketplaces.

2. Map your long-term journey and get guidance on near-term changes. 

Learn about the transformation journey, pinpoint where you are, and how to get to the next level of success. Senior analysts work with the C-Suite and develop roadmaps for transformation. If you require help with more specific pain points and/or near-term changes, analysts who specialize in specific business areas, industries, and/or technologies can provide deep expertise (as they speak with end-users multiple times every day). Gartner’s 2300+ analysts engage with clients 400,000 times per year. Speak with those who have helped guide thousands of clients in just that area. And, they stay on top of emerging tech; for example, Gartner recently published Emerging Technologies: Digital Solutions to Enable Ecosystems and Marketplaces, by John Santoro, 23 February 2021.

3. Benchmark performance with metrics that matter. 

How does your performance compare with that of your peers or to leaders in other industries? What are they thinking about, that you’re not? Most analysts include measurements in their coverage area and will share what is top-decile performance and also what that means to your business.

4. Help your team execute. 

Analysts can help nearly every level, from planning to benchmarking to execution. Analysts can work with IT teams who are in the trenches executing on their organization’s business demands—and many specialize in emerging technologies like application ecosystems, exactly where change is happening.

5. Choose the partners to help you achieve your goals. 

The traditional and most well-known way to engage with industry analyst firms is to find which partners are best positioned to help you succeed. Technology vendors, service providers, and even industry partners are critical to you achieving your goals. They spend time getting to know us, and we provide them with an inside view of our business—and this provides them with an unbiased view of the multitude of partners you may have to engage to execute your strategy.

    To summarize, industry analysts help with partner selection, and a whole lot more. We’ve benefited tremendously from our engagements and our customers have as well. Their job is to help, and they’re rewarded when you succeed, at least in part thanks to their knowledge and expertise. Map your journey, benchmark your performance, dig deep into critical change management topics, and execute better thanks to lessons learned by others, all with these experts at your side.

    Interested in speaking to an analyst? We’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

    To learn more, read our Forrester Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Study report. 

    [1] Gartner, Emerging Technologies: Digital Solutions to Enable Ecosystems and Marketplaces, by John Santoro, Mark Paine, Ilona Hansen, 12 March 2021.

    [2] Forrester, New Tech: Marketplace Development Platforms And Tools, Q4 2020, by Joe Cicman, Caleb Ewald with Allen Bonde, Alessia Stewart, Madison Bakalar, 17 November 2020.

    [3] Forrester, The Future Of Distribution: Use Platforms Of Distribution To Bring New Outcomes To New Buyers, by Joe Cicman and Jay McBain, 23 February 2021.

    [4] Forrester, The Future Of Distribution: Use Platforms Of Distribution To Bring New Outcomes To New Buyers, by Joe Cicman and Jay McBain, 23 February 2021.