As we progress through 2024, Architecting IT is evolving its business model, moving away from vendor-related work and focusing solely on end users. In this quick blog post, we discuss the rationale for the change and how it affects our readers.
The post-pandemic years have been challenging, as the sharp rise in global inflation has left no business untouched. In the last two years (2022 & 2023), the technology industry has experienced a massive volume of layoffs that doesn’t look like subsiding significantly in 2024.
At the same time, the relationship and engagement of IT businesses and their customers is changing. As we highlighted in this post from May 2022, many of the traditional vendors in the infrastructure space have cut back on influencer programs and moved towards a “broadcast” model of little or no interaction.
The second-tier analyst segment is changing too. Many firms have been acquired, notably Enterprise Strategy Group by TechTarget in 2021 (link), Omdia just last week as part of a partnership with Informa PLC, also by TechTarget (link), Evaluator Group by Futurum Group in January 2023 (link) and Gestalt IT/Tech Field Day, also by Futurum Group (link).
Although analyst firms have always had a media aspect to their businesses, these acquisitions highlight how media content is leading the discussion rather than specific deep-dive technical analysis.
Over the years, Architecting IT has evolved from a site solely producing blog content to now offering more in-depth eBooks and papers that focus on vendors, products, and solutions. During this time, we have majored in the technical aspects of technology, as we believe that all technology deployment is a technical choice.
At the same time, the technical aspects of a solution are not the only decision point for businesses. It’s important to understand context in the market, whether vendors are leading their market or following it, and whether, commercially, a particular platform or product makes sense. As a result, we’ve expanded coverage to look at financials for publicly quoted vendors and to develop X-Rays, which look at vendors in a more holistic manner.
However, at the heart of what we do is a technical focus that we believe derives from actual experience. No one can appreciate the thrill of driving a racing car without having done it; similarly, the birth of a child, or achieving a significant qualification are all highly personal experiences.
So, do we really know any technology topic without having some hands-on experience? We believe not. After decades of technical experience deploying and managing all manner of infrastructure (that also includes product development and developing software), we bring that experience to bear in our views and opinions on vendors, products, and the market in general.
Of course, the technology landscape is continuously evolving. Someone once said that 25% of IT knowledge is lost each year, meaning that the industry evolves at a rapid rate. Much of 2023 was consumed with discussions on AI. However, in just the last decade, we’ve also been through the transition to the public cloud, containerisation, serverless, zero-trust, distributed storage, ransomware attacks and many other technology changes. Without learning and evaluating these new concepts, our technical knowledge falls quickly out of date.
How does all this affect Architecting IT?
As our business model has transitioned away from long-term consulting, we’ve put more emphasis on detailed and long-form content. This process involves significant research that is sometimes sponsored by vendors. Our work on container-native storage benchmarking for Kubernetes is one example (download here), while our IBM FlashSystem review is another (available here).
However independent these projects are (and they are truly independently executed), sponsored content will always come with certain expectations and perceived biases. Therefore, we have decided the time is right to move from a vendor-assisted financial model to vendor independence.
Content takes time and effort to develop, so we’ve introduced a subscription model for vendor and product-specific content. An Individual Subscription entry point is just $9.99/month, cancellable at any time. Anyone within an organisation (vendor or otherwise) can subscribe, but the only restriction is the right to distribute. For an enterprise or vendor site-wide licence, we have separate pricing (contact us for details).
Gradually, over the course of 2024, we will transition all content as follows:
- New blog content will be subscription-only, with only a few exceptions. This content will be accessible with an Individual Subscription or higher. Previous Free Subscription content will be reviewed and revised before moving to the Individual Subscription Model. For 2024, pricing will be fixed at $9.99/month.
- X-Ray eBooks. We will continue to produce new X-Ray eBooks and update existing ones, covering a range of vendors across our practice areas. These have started with data storage and will quickly expand into data protection and other infrastructure areas. X-Rays are available for download as part of Individual Subscriptions and higher. Updates are available as long as a subscription remains in place.
- Pathfinder & Market Perspective eBooks. These are long-form papers, typically 15-20 pages in length. They cover a market segment or topic in the industry, with Pathfinders focusing on emerging topics and Market Perspectives looking at mature markets. These eBooks will be available through a new Individual Plus subscription ($99/month) from February 2024, which will also include all the features of the Individual Subscription. These eBooks will also be included automatically with Enterprise and Vendor Subscriptions. We will publish one new paper a month as a minumum.
In-depth content takes a long time to research and create, including costs for technology, either within our Lab environment or the public cloud. As a result, going forward, we see the subscription model as a better choice for our business. It means we can be fully honest in our opinions and views of every aspect of technology.
We realise that not everyone wants to subscribe and that our transition may result in fewer readers. However, we want to build a brand that is trusted by our readers, who we hope will also become customers.
If you already subscribe, thanks for joining us on the journey. Here’s to a positive and successful 2024!
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