James McGovern, writing in his February 18th
source options for users. He suggests …
Maybe the next step is to get several analysts who blog to expose themselves to a vocal audience. Maybe they could ping this entry’s trackback and let the dialog begin. Online audiences routinely discuss, debate and refute industry analyst research.
I think that would be great. Sign me up … I would be happy to
contribute. But, what what would be even more useful, for me — certainly
more useful than discussions of industry analyst research — would be hearing
more about what open source platforms and tools are turning out to be most
valuable as companies implement compliance solutions.
In my own work as an analyst/writer over the last decade I have discovered
some things that match up–at least in a rough way–with McGovern’s
concerns. I started out sizing markets, projecting growth, figuring up
market share, and so on. I learned a couple of things after a few years of
this. One is that it is hard to predict the future. A second thing
was that the methodologies available for estimating current market size and
market share in markets that are relatively young and still emerging are subject
to a lot of error. You can do it for toothpaste or cola, but there is a
lot of guesswork and making of assumptions when you are looking at something
like "content management" or, heaven forbid,
But perhaps the most striking, humbling thing that I learned is that the
market sizes, growth projections, and so on that I worked so hard to create are
typically not useful to the people and firms that actually USE technology.
It is critically important stuff for technology vendors … but
technology users are more concerned about what works than they are with
the size of the market.
So, I don’t do market size estimates anymore. I am much more interested
in finding out what people are doing and what works.
As I look at Sarbanes Oxley and other compliance issues, the question of
"what works?" seems more important than ever.
So, James, I really like the idea of using trackbacks and other tools to get
a discussion going that brings more open source tools to the forefront.
But, rather than worrying about what the analysts think, I would be more
interested in finding out more about what companies are using, for what
applications, and what is working.
I see that James
Governor of RedMonk is also interested in joining the conversation. (I
will say a bit more about RedMonk’s interesting thinking about "Compliance
Oriented Architecture" in a separate post.) With James on board,
along with some people who are using open source approaches to compliance, I
think we could have a conversation that would be both interesting and really