Gartner, Inc.

  • Overview

Saatchi steps aside

In 1979, Gideon Gartner, an Oppenheimer technology securities analyst and former IBM staffer, launched GartnerGroup to provide IT consulting services.  In the beginning, the firm had just four employees, and Gartner soon led it off Wall Street, establishing headquarters in Greenwich, Conn.  Two years later, the headquarters was relocated again, to its current home in Stamford, Conn.  The firm went public with an $11.6 million IPO in 1986, and two years later it was acquired, to the tune of $90 million, by British ad company Saatchi & Saatchi.  The tie-up proved short-lived, however, as Gideon Gartner led a $63.5 million leveraged buyout and reclaimed his eponymous firm.

A second IPO was issued in 1993, and in 1998 Gartner began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol IT, lest anyone question its specialty.  In 2001, GartnerGroup officially changed its name to Gartner.  Current CEO Eugene "Gene" Hall, a former Automatic Data Processing executive and McKinsey senior partner, has held the top job since 2004.

Research first

Gideon Gartner, an analyst to the core, built his firm based on research.  The company's four service units are research, consulting, events and executive programs, but each of these draws heavily on the work done by the research division.  The firm's industry verticals currently include financial services and banking, health care, utilities, telecommunications and media, and the public sector, which covers state and local governments, the federal government and educational institutions.

According to the firm, 65 percent of the Fortune 1000 and 80 percent of the Global 500 rely on Gartner's research and advisory services when making IT decisions.  The firm's 4,000-plus employees in 80 countries serve over 60,000 clients worldwide.

Fine fellows

Each year, Gartner designates some of its best and brightest analysts as Gartner Fellows, a group that forms an exclusive research think tank.  Fellows may be nominated by Gartner employees or clients and, once appointed, serve two-year stints in the group.  This honor gives them time and flexibility to work on three to five "high-impact" ideas, the results of which are published by Gartner's research division and made available to clients and the business media.


The 23 current fellows are working on a number of cutting-edge research topics, including studies of effective CIO leadership, enterprise IT agility and its impact on business performance and emerging technology trends.  As part of their research, fellows conduct and publish interviews with some of the leading minds in their field.  A recent example of this is an interview conducted with business process management pioneer Dr. Geary Rummler in May 2008.  Conducted by Gartner Fellows Daryl Plummer and Elise Olding, the interview explored the field of BPM and process improvement, and is well worth reading for anyone interested in the field.  Be warned, though; sentences like this are common: "BPM ties that bottom-up continuous-improvement aspect with a top-down strategic view, since you've got everything interconnected."  And that was part of a question.

Understanding the hype

Clients can take advantage of Gartner's research prowess in several ways.  The firm calls its core research channel "the foundation of most client relationships at Gartner," acting as a one-stop link to analysts' growing piles of data, reports and advice.  Those who choose the core research reference option receive self-service access to research materials, including blogs, fellows' reports, white papers, Hype Cycles and Magic Quadrants (more on those in a moment).  The upgraded core research advisor package lets clients connect directly with research analysts.

As for those Magic Quadrants: These reports provide visual snapshots of different markets' behavior, including trends, maturity and participants.  These are designed to help clients select products or services and manage vendor relationships more effectively.  Similarly, the Hype Cycles models are intended to depict the impact of different technologies and applications, in an effort to break through the hype and assess the practical function of new IT products.  Hype Cycle methodology shows how a given application will evolve and its implications for real-world business decisions.

Streamlining and saving

A look at some recent Gartner projects shows how the firm tackles complex IT issues.  A leading financial services information company hired the firm to shift its siloed IT system to a unified enterprise model, in the interest of increasing productivity and consistency.  Gartner consultants began by creating an IT optimization roadmap, then assessed the maturity of existing processes and evaluated their potential for revamping.  Finally, they outlined steps for selecting new enterprise solutions.  As a result, the client was able to implement new IT tools and build a cross-enterprise solution environment.

In another assignment, Gartner was hired by a Fortune 100 health care company that needed a global IT consolidation strategy and a unified application environment in order to realize critical cost reductions.  Gartner completed a benchmarking project to identify opportunities for savings, and then analyzed best practices for sourcing and offshoring.  This led to a redesign of the client's program management and applications process.  The bottom line?  Over $100 million in savings.

Beating expectations

Posting a 9 percent increase in revenue, Gartner's annual results for 2008 made for some rare positive reading these days.  Indeed, even as the economy slumped in the fourth quarter of 2008, Gartner still pulled out 1 percent growth over the previous year, which was largely driven by increases in consulting and research.

Breaking down the full-year numbers: revenue for the research segment rose 15 percent year over year to $773.3 million, while the firm finished the year with a record research contract value of $834.3 million.  The consulting segment had a pretty good year, too, posting a 7 percent increase in revenue (although currency fluctuations were responsible for around 1 percent of that figure). The events segment was hit pretty badly, however, posting a 6 percent drop in revenue (7 excluding currency fluctuations).  

You're invited

Gartner doesn't just advise on IT, it also puts on world-class events for IT professionals through its Gartner Events division.  With a yearly schedule of over 60 conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, the firm's events attract more than 44,000 executives each year.  These happenings, which feature technology showcases, keynote speeches, workshops and one-on-one meetings with Gartner research analysts, are open to clients and non-clients alike.

Reacting to the economic crisis that began unfolding in 2008, the firm was moved in January 2009 to cancel a couple of its keynote events that had been scheduled for later in the year.  Citing "a thorough review of our worldwide event portfolio," the firm decided to "make adjustments based on the trends and performance of individual events."  Out, then, went the planned Spring Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas and Barcelona.  In a further sign of bad times in the IT sector, that same month saw the company lay off some 117 workers, around 3 percent of its workforce, a number that included several analysts.  

Making strides in Asia

In August 2008, Gartner ramped up its presence in Korea, transitioning its operations there to a direct sales channel.  Previously, Gartner's Korean sales agent, Quality Consulting, provided dedicated client management and business development services.  Mike McCarty, a Gartner vice president, justified the shift by pointing out that the strategy had already paid off in another Asian market: "At the beginning of 2007 we transitioned to direct sales in Taiwan, and last year it was our fastest-growing market in Asia-Pacific year over year."

The firm's Seoul office is expected to do more hiring in the coming years as it expands its range of service offerings and increases its market research coverage.  According to Gartner's own forecast, Korean enterprise IT spending will hit $50.8 billion by 2012, up from $43.4 billion in 2008.

The future is cloudy

Cloud computing is one of the tech industry's latest buzzwords; according to Gartner, cloud computing will eventually be as influential as e-business in terms of its impact on companies and consumers.  So what, exactly, does cloud computing mean?  In the Gartner playbook, the term is defined as "a style of computing where massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided as a service using Internet technologies to multiple external customers."  (Think Google Apps.)

Daryl Plummer, a Gartner fellow, explained in a June 2008 report that the trend toward cloud computing "is due in part to the commoditization and standardization of technologies, in part to virtualization and the rise of service-oriented software architectures, and most importantly, to the dramatic growth in popularity of the Internet."  Another fellow, David Mitchell Smith, added that the focus is shifting "from the infrastructure implementations and onto the services that allow for access to the capabilities provided," which means that CIOs and other top executives need to be prepared for the dawn of a new online business model.
 
Masters of data

In 2008, for the first time, Gartner created the Master Data Management (MDM) Excellence Award to recognize "any end-user organization that has implemented a successful MDM strategy with resulting business impact."  Nominations were collected via an online form and analyzed by a team of Gartner experts.  Three finalists were chosen, based on Gartner's in-house MDM framework, dubbed "the Seven Building Blocks of MDM" (those would be vision, strategy, governance, organization, processes, technology infrastructure and metrics and performance).  Johnson and Johnson Health Care Systems was unveiled as the winner of Gartner's first annual Master Data Management Excellence Awards Program, held in Chicago in November 2008.

Book it

Gartner has teamed up with Harvard Business Press to publish a series of books aimed at IT and business managers, rolling out several titles over the years.  The most recent read is Jackie Fenn's and Mark Raskino's Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time, which was released in October 2008.  The book is focused on Gartner's Hype Cycle framework, and gives an in-depth look at how the model works and how it can be applied in an organizational setting.

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Gartner, Inc.


56 Top Gallant Road
Stamford, CT 06904-7700
Phone: (203) 964-0096
Fax: (203) (203) 316-6488
www.gartner.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: IT
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Chairman and CEO: Eugene A. Hall
  • CEO and Director: Eugene Hall
  • EVP and CFO: Christopher Lafond
  • 2010 Employees: 4,600

Major Office Locations

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Melbourne , Australia
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Adelaid, Australia
  • Adelaide, Australia
  • Manuka, Australia
  • Subiaco, Australia
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Zaventem , Belgium
  • San Paulo, Brazil
  • Calgary, Canada
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Shanghai, China
  • Beijing, China
  • Bogata, Colombia
  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • El Segundo, CA
  • Woodland Hills, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Trumbull, CT
  • Stamford, CT
  • Maitland, FL
  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Lowell, MA
  • Delran, NJ
  • New York, NY
  • Irving, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Arlington, VA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Guaynabo, PR
  • Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Monterrey, Mexico
  • Lomas De Chapultepec, Mexico
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Prague, Poland
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Kranj, Slovenia
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Solna, Sweden
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • Dietikon, Switzerland
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Caracas, Venezuela
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Surrey , United Kingdom
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Naerum, Denmark
  • Espoo, Finland
  • Paris, France
  • Munich, Germany
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Athens, Greece
  • Budapest, Honduras
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Mumbai, India
  • Bangalore, India
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Milan, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Turin, Italy
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Seoul, South Korea
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Key Financials

  • 2010 Revenue: $1,300 million

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