The IT research world continues to shrink with Gartner's $56 million acquisition of Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group.
The move, announced earlier this week, comes on the heels of Gartner's announcement last month that it plans to acquire Boston-based AMR Research for $40 million. It also furthers a trend that has been hard to miss: Specialist research firms are getting snatched up by larger players like Gartner and Forrester.
Burton Group, which has about 40 analysts and 40 sales and service associates, says on its Web site that it focuses on "infrastructure technologies, strategy adoption, and governance practices relating to over 40 enterprise technologies" and counts hundreds of Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies among its clients. The company's projected revenue last year was $30 million.
As in the deal for AMR, a supply chain management specialist with an expected $40 million in 2009 revenue, Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner is looking to expand its offerings with Burton. In this case, that means adding more practical advice for IT managers.
"Gartner has traditionally focused on providing strategic insight to CIOs and senior IT executives, while Burton Group has built a leading niche providing practical, how-to advice to front-line IT professionals," explained Gartner CEO Gene Hall in a statement. Burton, he added, "should enable us to offer a more complete solution to every level and functional expert within an IT organization."
On a message posted to the Burton Group site, CEO Jamie Lewis said that his firm's "focus on pragmatic, in-depth IT research, consulting and events will be a valuable and significant complement to the current Gartner portfolio," adding that Gartner's resources will improve Burton's offerings and give its clients access to a greater breadth of services.
In the near term, said Lewis, Burton clients won't see any changes in their relationship with Burton.For the industry, the question is really which specialist firm is going to get bought out next?