Reading an article on Microsoft putting Office into the cloud brought 'Directions on Microsoft' to my attention. I'm very used to the idea of analysis firms pointed at particular market segments, but had never encountered one aimed at a particular company.
The more I thought about it, the more this made sense to me. It occurs that the market of today is akin to science at the turn of the 20th Century. There is so much to discover in so many fields that the traditional 'expert' commentators on a field cannot hope to see everything, let alone consider the resulting implications. This effect is becoming more marked as (particularly technology) companies continue their acquisition sprees, bringing many more divisions and products into their portfolios.
Perhaps just as gentlemen astronomers provided great insights into the cosmos, small, pointed analysis firms can help us make sense of the hyper-dynamic, information-saturated market of the twenty-teens.
Something else that worried me about this line of thought was how difficult it must be for a CEO to keep track of everything his or her company is doing, let alone the moves and counter-moves of the competition. A colleague of mine has emphasised many times to me the importance of Management Information reporting and how neglected it is within businesses today. Perhaps the production of rich dashboards will become a key strategic business function in the next decade. Something I'll take up in passing with the clients I meet over the coming months.