The Data Center Intelligence Group (DCIG) is a technology analyst firm that was originally founded in 2007 focusing on enterprise data protection, data storage, and cloud technologies. Its primary goal, at that time, was to provide outsourced analyst services delivered in the form of blog entries, customer validations, executive interviews, and white papers. DCIG specifically looked to distinguish itself by delivering blog content that provided subscribers with objective, third party analyst coverage about their company and products delivered in a format (blogs) easily searched and disseminated on the web.
By 2010 DCIG had successfully developed and implemented its outsourced blogging services. At that time, it began development of and launched its inaugural Buyer’s Guide on the topic of Midrange Arrays in May 2010. The methodology used to produce this and future Buyer’s Guides was based on the years of experience that one of its founders, Jerome Wendt, gained when evaluating enterprise technology products while working as part of a Fortune 500 company.
Prior to bringing in products to test or making product purchases, the data center team at this Fortune 500 company would evaluate prospective products based upon their published and publicly available technical specifications. These evaluations would include the following steps:
- Making a list of product features
- Assigning a score or weighting to each product feature
- Identifying whether or not each feature was supported
- How the feature was implemented (where appropriate)
- Totaling the scores of each products features
Each published DCIG Buyer’s Guide contains overall product scores and rankings as well as individual data sheets on each product covered. Using these Guides, enterprises may quickly assess specific technology products, create a short list of products that are potentially the most appropriate fit for their environment, and then either move to purchase or test the products on that list.
Since 2010 DCIG has produced over 30 different Buyer’s Guides on topics that include: backup software, deduplicating and integrated backup appliances, all-flash storage arrays, hybrid storage arrays, midrange arrays, mobile data management, and tape libraries, among others.
In 2014, DCIG introduced two new analyst products; the DCIG Competitive Advantage Reports and the DCIG Special Reports. Using the public information that it had gathered and published as part of doing its research for the DCIG Buyer’s Guide put a wealth of information at the fingertips of DCIG analysts that they could use to cite and reference when comparing products from different vendors.
The 2-page Competitive Advantage Reports provide an at-a-glance comparison between two products in the same market space and list 3-6 competitive advantages that one product has over the other. The DCIG Special Report is a longer, more in-depth paper that examines multiple products and the differences between them.
In 2019, DCIG introduced three new analyst products: the DCIG Competitive Intelligence Reports; the DCIG TOP 5 Reports; and, the DCIG Solution Profile. These reports represent the evolution of the DCIG Buyer’s Guide and DCIG Competitive Advantage Report.
Due to consolidations in industry players and a move toward cloud technologies, the need for publications such as the DCIG Buyer’s Guide that covered dozens of products decreased. In its stead, a report that identified the top products in a specific market segment emerged. Hence, the TOP 5 report was born.
Like the DCIG Buyer’s Guide, DCIG still independently evaluates products and solutions to identify the products that best satisfy a specific use case. Unlike the DCIG Buyer’s Guide, this is a shorter report of about five pages that only covers the top five products out of the 12 or more products or solutions evaluated.
The DCIG Solution Profile is closely related to the DCIG TOP 5 report. This is a 2-page report that is a derivative of the TOP 5 report. This report only looks at one of the vendors covered as part of DCIG’s research into this space and identifies the features that make the specific vendor’s product or solution distinct from its competitors.
The DCIG Competitive Intelligence Reports take a measured approach in evaluating two or more competitive products. It provides an examination of the key technologies of each of the products it evaluates to help companies understand each of the offerings. It also gives them key questions to ask and answer to help them evaluate which technology best aligns with their requirements. The DCIG Competitive Intelligence Report Executive Edition takes the same approach. It is a shorter report that only focuses on two competitors and how they compare head-to-head.