These departures are big blows for both firms, though in different ways. Rachel was really IDC’s sole expert on social media so her departure eliminates a big piece of IDC’s intellectual property on this market. Forrester has a team of social media experts, so expertise is not the problem. For Forrester, Charlene’s departure is a loss of prestige and credibility as Charlene is one of the most highly visible experts in this market. Obviously neither loss is a fatal blow to either firm, but they need to work to fill the holes quickly.
(Added 7/3/08 at 5 am PT. Links to Rachel’s and Charlene’s blog posts)
Leaving IDC…Joining Mzinga Rachel
Why I’m Leaving Forrester Charlene
Here is an update on Charlene via Twitter “Looking at options, likely will be on my own with a combo of blogging, speaking, consulting, and influence building”
Remember, most analyst firms have not invested in knowledge management systems so most information that analysts get in vendor briefings and other sources is stored between the ears of an analyst which means that it walks out the door every night. This often means that vendors are back at square one in terms of a firm’s knowledge and context about a vendor.
This news is just a reminder for analyst relations professionals that they need to have a process in place for dealing with a departing analyst. Any departure of a Tier 1 analyst from your list should send you into dynamic action.