A Spotlight On GigaOm: A Practitioner-Led Analyst Firm Helping Companies Better Deploy Technologies

by Nathan Herrman

January 23, 2024

AR Industry | Insights-Driven AR |

A Spotlight On GigaOm: A Practitioner-Led Analyst Firm Helping Companies Better Deploy Technologies

GigaOm is an analyst firm and media company on the radar of many AR pros. However, everyone may not be familiar with GigaOm’s practitioner-driven value proposition. In our conversation with Jon Collins, GigaOm’s VP of Engagement, we explore GigaOm’s journey and unique advisory approach, as well as Jon’s advice to companies seeking to maximize the value of their analyst relationships.

What does your role at GigaOm entail?

I’ve worked across research and engagement for several years, but since we’ve moved to a single point of research leadership under our CTO, Howard Holton, my previous title [VP, Research] made less and less sense for my role. I’m still a lead analyst, but my primary focus as VP of Engagement is on connecting our research with end-user and vendor organizations.

I have a diverse background in tech. I studied theories of computation at university, then worked in programming, quality management, and then led a rapidly growing UNIX-based software development environment. I spent several years consulting in software development and IT operations, including in security; I’ve also worked as a CTO of a tech startup. When I became an analyst, I found my practitioner background set me apart from career analysts. I know what works in the real world – the organizational and budgetary realities beyond the tech.

What sets GigaOm apart as an analyst firm?

GigaOm stands out as a practitioner-led analyst firm with hands-on experience. Our analysts have faced real-world challenges, not just theoretical scenarios. We leverage this insight to create high-impact products – such as reports and advisory services to help practitioners and tech decision-makers. We’re looking to empower technical strategists – and on the vendor side, enable product, marketing, sales, and channel professionals to address market needs.

How did GigaOm transition from a media organization to an analyst firm?

GigaOm had its origins in media, but advertising budgets declined due to growth in social media. Ironically, our analyst business was thriving at the time. So we refocused as a practitioner-driven analyst firm. We recognized our strength lay in our technical expertise and the use of practitioners as analysts. We developed the Radar model with a technical emphasis, reflecting how organizations procure – and it hit the spot. The pandemic accelerated our growth, and now we are building on a comprehensive platform of research. It’s been quite the journey!

How does GigaOm’s practitioner grounding benefit your clients?

A great example of “practitioner grounding” is our coverage of Cloud Observability. We brought in Ron Williams, who had worked for American Airlines, the Department of Defense, and NASA. He shifted our perspective on coverage – emphasizing solutions that address the complexity of observability, over ease of deployment. Vendors appreciate this approach. They understand the value of speaking with us as technical product advisors, rather than just outbound marketing resources.

There’s a place for evangelizing new technologies, but that’s not for GigaOm. Rather, we help the CIO, CTO, CISO, or VP of Operations who gets charged with technology delivery, with everything from strategic advice to hands-on engineering benchmarking. We measure our influence by our impact on end-user decisions and how we help people excel in their roles, whether they’re end-users, vendors, or partners. We’re proud of our unique partnerships, like working with Ingram Micro to offer GigaOm research alongside technical offerings.

You can gain more from your analyst relationships if you create a clear map of your business goals, and assess how analysts and firms align with those goals. Avoid viewing analysts solely as outbound marketing resources. Also, recognize that Gartner isn’t the sole authority: companies seek alternatives because Gartner’s advice may not fit their unique needs. Instead of a broad approach, map out which firms meet specific requirements for different parts of your business – such as product management, product marketing, sales, channel, and strategy, etc. Focus on building key analyst relationships, across the organization.

We challenge the status quo by combining the scale of a media model with in-depth, strategic, and practical technical advice, to set direction and unblock decision-making. Plus, we have an open-door policy. If you want to learn more about our research process, report schedules, our analysts, or anything else, feel free to get in touch. GigaOm is all about problem-solving, practicality, and helping you navigate the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

Interested in learning more about how to get more value out of existing AR work? Contact our team to learn more about getting started today.