our research approach

In line with our 'creating business improvement from IT investment' touchstone, our research approach is based on three core principles which together help us deliver valuable advice that offers a different perspective.

Learn more about our core research principles by clicking on the headings below.

Principle #1: Technology is not enough

It's easy for analyst firms to provide insights and advice on technology products and directions, because IT vendors have a vested interest in briefing the analyst community. However as the decidedly mixed outcome of 40 years' historic IT investment has shown us, concentrating purely on technology and hoping for "silver bullets" is a sure way for enterprises to miss the real opportunities and challenges that spring from use of IT in business.

MWD's focus on "creating business improvement from IT investment" means that it complements an understanding of technology products and directions with consideration of the "soft" issues that are so important in delivering business value from IT: issues concerning skills, culture and communication, process, methodology and organisation.


Principle #2: It's a world of "and", not "or"

Another thing that is easy for analyst firms to do is to focus on discrete areas of technology or market development, and work on those in isolation. However in the real world, it's clear that enterprises' opportunities and challenges aren't very often about individual, "fenced-off" areas of technology or competence. Today's CIOs and Architects live in a world of "and", not a world of "or" - individual technology investment and strategy choices have to be made in the context of a bigger picture.

MWD's focus on the business value of IT means that it works to "show the big picture" - to explain how individual technology, market and best-practice developments impact broader IT practice and opportunities for delivering business value. Our research framework compels us to seek out areas where trends impact more broadly, and collaborate to produce research and advice that highlights the broader positive and negative implications of developments.


Principle #3: Show working examples

One of the most direct and compelling ways to provide insight and advice that's relevant and that helps with the broader issue of creating business improvement from IT investment, is to explain things by example. In our research programmes we explore enterprise adoption of tools and technologies, practices and challenges not only through "one-to-many" market studies, but also by creating in-depth case studies that highlight the critical success factors that led to the outcome in question - considering, as you'd expect, issues concerning skills, culture and communication, process, methodology and organisation.

independent advice

We work hard to ensure the all our research and advice is unbiased, so you know you can trust it.

All the research and advice you find on MWD's site - whether it's part of our freely-available "Guest Pass" library or part of one of our paid-for Continuous Advisory Services - is funded by MWD. We drive our own research programmes - our research agenda isn't set by research or writing projects we carry out for vendors.

Any research and advice that's based on briefings from IT vendors is always thoroughly fact-checked before publication, and we do our best to give more than enough notice to vendors when they do review our research so that they have time to provide feedback. However, although we will always accept guidance from vendors on factual errors or omissions, we never accept attempts to get us to change our opinions where they're based on established fact.

We do sometimes produce custom market education reports for vendors, but these reports never mention or endorse any vendors or products and always use MWD-sourced research and analysis as their foundation. To avoid any confusion about the self-funded nature of our research programmes, any custom reports we do produce are never made available on the MWD website.






our research sources

Industry analysis and advice has to be founded in real-world understanding if it's to have real lasting value.

It doesn't matter how clever our analysts are - they can't know everything. In order to effectively deliver work within MWD's research framework we have to gather information from multiple external sources.

Click on the titles below to learn about the sources we use for our research, analysis and advice.

Supplier briefings

We carry out in-depth briefings with both large and small technology product vendors and service providers, aiming to cover all the significant players. We use these briefings as inputs to our Vendor Capability Assessments and other Vendor Insights reports, and we also use information about planned developments to help us plan future in-depth Strategic Insights advisory reports. Vendor Capability Assessments, and the underlying assessment models on which they're based, are reviewed by default every 6 months.

Industry surveys

We carry out major industry surveys and studies using telephone- and web-based survey methods, aiming to uncover insights about enterprise perceptions, adoption behaviour and best practices. We use these studies as inputs to our Best Practice Insights reports, and also to help us plan future in-depth Strategic Insights advisory reports.

One-to-one practitioner interviews

We carry out one-to-one interviews with enterprise IT practitioners - principally CIOs, other senior IT leaders and architects. We use these as to create our in-depth Best Practice Insights case study reports, and also to help us plan future in-depth Strategic Insights advisory reports.

If you have any questions on our approach to research please contact us.