The Aberdeen Group created its own list (see below) by soliciting opinion from the experts most closely involved with these vendors: executives whose firms use their products or services.
Andrew Boyd, the chief research officer for Aberdeen, explained: We asked respondents to identify the top 3 technology companies that had the most influence on their business in the past year. Aberdeen received some 4,600 responses from IT managers and executives. The survey was part of its annual State of the Market report.
We took the 3 responses, tabulated it up, and this list was the result, Boyd told me.
The very top of the list will surprise no one who follows technology. The top 10 are roughly mapped to other lists youve probably seen out in the market place, Boyd said. But the list does contain plenty of counterintuitive entries.
In particular, Boyd pointed to the high placement of Google, RIM, and Apple the personal technologies on the list. The merging of consumer and business technology is clearly continuing, as IT staffers organize their life and connect to the Net via their smartphones.
Its also interesting to see Salesforce among the top entries. In comparison to the entrenched top titans, the SaaS company is a relative newcomer, not having launched its service until 2000. (None of the other Top 10 are less than 20 years old.)
SaaS is inarguably a strongly emerging trend. Noted Boyd: We asked, In a broad sense, what technologies do you think are going to have the most impact in the business in the next 3-5 years? Interestingly enough, BI and analytics was No. 1, and Software as a Service was No. 2. That bodes well for up-and-coming SaaS vendor Netsuite, currently at No. 85.
Also somewhat surprising about the list: open source vendor Red Hat (No. 21) is ranked above industry power Intel (No. 29). And VoIP phone company Vonage (No. 68) is ranked just above blue chip brand name Xerox (No. 69). The times they are a-changin.
Aberdeens full list of the Top 100 Most Influential Technology vendors of 2008:
6. Hewlett Packard
10. Sun Microsystems
12. RIM (Blackberry)
21. Red Hat
23. Verizon Wireless