Gartner’s prediction accuracy

Care of a Twitter note from Hutch Carpenter, I have been reading a Gartner report on the state of the hype cycle for social software.

It was interesting reading, but I am going to save it (or social bookmark it) for reading in a few years time. The reason: back in about 2001/2002, I remember Gartner doing a report on the state of ERP II – being inter-company (between company) transacting, as opposed to intra-company (within company) which is where ERP’s strength was supposed to be.

At the time, I recall Gartner making major predictions about how ERP II would be a new revolutionising tool for business. 6-7 years later I am still waiting to see that.

I wonder if the Gartner analysts ever review old predictions and see how accurate they were? It would be interesting to see the analysis.

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6 thoughts on “Gartner’s prediction accuracy

  1. We do review old predictions to see how we fared. Predictions are predictions and sometimes we miss the mark as the environment changes in often unpredictable ways. Every year we put out a series of “Predicts” research that anticipates how things will evolve in a 3-5 year window. In these reports we include a look backwards at predictions we hit and predictions we missed.

  2. Hey Tony, or anyone from Gartner: I’d love to see Gartner’s own estimate of how accurate its predictions are, say over a 5-year period. Gartner has become something of an oracle in the business world. There are management people who base decisions entirely on Gartner predictions, even in the face of contradictory information. This self-fulfillment factor should give you an advantage. So… got any hard numbers for us? I’m guessing not (94%).

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  4. The truth is plain simple: Gartner pundits predict whatever companies pay them to predict (Microsoft, Google, etc.). Remember that early 2000 they predicted that Itanium was going to be the ubiquitous 64bits processor. They have dozens of such garbage predictions in their glorious history, so what really amazes me is why are still so many IT managers listening to what they say. Possibly because most IT Managers have no clue…

    • Gartner analysts get very upset if you insinuate that their analysis is tied to the companies that pay them – I know, because I said that and was told very clearly by the analyst that it wasn’t true. I am coming to believe they are like weather forecasters or economists – they can forecast things OK in the near term, but long term they may only be as accurate as tossing a coin.

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