I loved Simon Hayward's recent Blog posting It No Longer Matters Which Product You Buy whereby Simon says:
"IT products are now good enough to serve the majority of users most of the time.....spend the minimum amount of time ensuring the IT product] does the job you want (don't buy a car if, in fact, you want a truck) and then spend most of your time figuring out how best to use it to achieve the maximum benefit for your business....."
Well said Simon. But I almost fell off my chair when I saw it was a Gartner post. It was like a barber saying it really does not matter whether you ever get another haircut, just so long as you have a great personality. I don't know Simon or anyone else at Gartner. Never had much use for information "analysts". The reason is that the "analyst" model in HR and other sectors like IT is filled with conflicts of interests - whether it's an IT analyst recommending a high-priced databases from one of their "partners" while ignoring the obvious open source solution, or an analyst firm not including a leading supplier in their "research" report because the supplier did not sponsor the report.
I'm not saying these firms purposely engage in such behavior. But I do know that it's very hard to be objective when you accept money from the very firms you are supposed to be objectively "analyzing". So when Simon writes that organizations should "spend the minimum amount of time ensuring it does the job you want and then spend most of their time figuring out how best to use it to achieve the maximum benefit for the business" naturally I was pleasantly surprised. This is dead on right and smart organizations know this. Good job Simon. All I would add is that the "supplier" also shares some responsibility (as does the consultant if one was used) for showing the buyer how to get the maximum value out of the solution.