What AR Pros Need To Know: IDC Leadership Provides IIAR Update on Blackstone, Metri transactions

Jun 21, 2021

AR news

What AR Pros Need To Know: IDC Leadership Provides IIAR Update on Blackstone, Metri transactions

IDC President Crawford Del Prete and Chief Research Officer Meredith Whalen joined a June 9, 2021 IIAR webinar to share details for AR professionals regarding IDG’s recent sale to Blackstone, as well as IDC’s acquisition of Metri. Some key takeaways:

  • IDC leadership does not anticipate dramatic change to its core business following Blackstone’s purchase. Leadership expects a continuation of the current strategy, and anticipates investment into expanding research and data coverage across global emerging technology markets.
  • Metri is the first of “possibly many” acquisitions IDC is eyeing to build out its end-user advisory and research portfolio.
  • IDC aims to have IT Benchmarking offerings based on Metri’s frameworks and methodologies available to Europe and US-based end user clients by the end of summer 2021.

China Oceanwide Holdings Group Sells IDG to Blackstone for $1.3B

In early June 2021, China Oceanwide Holdings Group announced its intent to sell IDG, parent company of IDC, and a collection of tech-focused publications like Computerworld and Macworld, to investment firm Blackstone for $1.3 billion. Early reports following the sale noted Blackstone’s interest in IDG’s media footprint and B2B data and insights business, much of which stems from IDC’s product offerings.

Crawford Del Prete exuded optimism at the June 9 IIAR update, saying Blackstone will provide the resources needed to keep growing IDC’s core business. Del Prete says the transaction was a result of growing interest from investors and an ownership group (China Oceanwide Holdings Group) feeling a need to move on.

There are no dramatic changes pending at IDC, said Del Prete, save for some new administrative workflows. To his knowledge, there is no intent to make any changes to IDC’s brand, leadership, positioning, or core business, and there is no intent to go ‘in-house’ for Blackstone.

Del Prete said Blackstone is positioned to help IDC continue its strategy of focusing on market data and B2B insights powering digital transformation, including a further focus on cloud, AI, and mobility. He said he anticipates further investment into IDC’s research division to expand its global coverage of emerging software markets.

IDC Buys Metri to Anchor IT Benchmarking Offerings

Meredith Whalen, Chief Research Officer at IDC, said IDC’s purchase of Netherlands-based Metri is the first of “possibly many” acquisitions designed to build out the firm’s end-user offering portfolio.

Whalen said IDC plans to model future end-user offerings on Metri’s three-pronged approach:

  • IT Benchmarking, which allows CIOs and IT Leaders to compare and benchmark performance and spend across peers via standardized methodologies and frameworks.
  • IT Intelligence, which assesses and benchmarks software development capabilities and practices within an enterprise.
  • IT Sourcing, which provides data, research, and insight pertinent to sourcing and procuring technology products and services, including contract reviews and negotiation techniques.

Whalen called out Metri’s strength and expertise in working with services firms, which she believes is complementary to IDC’s existing offerings for tech suppliers. A strong reputation among CIOs in the Benelux region, as well as a lack of existing customer overlap, provides further acquired value for IDC.

Whalen says she expects to move quickly with packaging and expanding Metri’s benchmarking capabilities. She hopes to have an IDC-branded IT Benchmarking offering later in Summer 2021 for Europe and US-based clients featuring Metri’s frameworks and methodologies.

For now, IDC does not plan to alter its own research report types or methodologies. The IT Benchmarking offerings will exist as a companion to the firm’s DecisionScape research methodologies for the foreseeable future. Whalen said IDC is exploring adding “interactive and inclusive” media types to its published research, including audio and video-based research, but does not anticipate making any major changes in the short term.

What This Means For AR Pros

Bottom line: IDC leadership says it’s business as usual following its parent company’s sale to Blackstone, and the Metri acquisition is a signal that IDC intends to grow its end-user client base. Research leaders don’t foresee dramatic change to the IDC research portfolio most relevant to tech suppliers.

AR Pros at tech suppliers and services providers should recognize the firm’s investment in products for the end-user audience and ensure IDC has the most up-to-date information about your company. Tech spending is no longer centralized in the IT department, and working with analysts can help product marketers and services leaders articulate a value proposition across the enterprise.

To become a member of the IIAR to listen to this webinar along with others, please check out their membership page on their website.

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