Guiding Principles

Gartner, Inc. is the leading provider of research and analysis on the information technology industry. Our principal business segments include Research, Consulting, Executive Programs and Events. Clients include chief information officers and other senior executives in corporations and government agencies, as well as technology companies (vendors) and the investment community. Our clients depend on insights provided by Gartner to make better-informed decisions about the impact of technology on their operations, markets and strategies.


The independence and objectivity of our research and advice are hallmarks of the Gartner brand. We founded the technology research and advisory industry on these principles in 1979. With more than 10,000 clients and 75 locations worldwide, we remain the clear market leader. Client trust in our rigorous standards to safeguard independence and objectivity is the basis of our business.

  • 1. How does Gartner protect its independence and objectivity?
  • The management and analysts of Gartner Research independently establish research methodologies, monitor research quality, and set the research agenda, free of external influence or interference. Gartner maintains Principles of Ethical Conduct that describes our core values and the boundaries that Gartner associates who develop and publish research or deliver consulting products are required to observe. Much of that guidance is reflected in this document.

  • 2. Are Gartner research analysts permitted to own stock in technology companies they cover?
  • No. Research analysts are not allowed to own stock or have any other type of personal investment in companies or sectors they cover. Members of Gartner's executive operating committee are prohibited from owning stock in any technology company. Gartner research analysts, Gartner executives and other Gartner associates are not permitted to be board members of any company in the IT industry that is within Gartner's scope of research coverage.

  • 3. Are vendors allowed to review Gartner research prior to publication?
  • Vendors are sometimes permitted to review research prior to publication to assure factual accuracy on the vendors' products or services. This review varies in duration, from four hours to one week, based on the length of the research study. Also, an enterprise user that is the subject of a case study sometimes is permitted to review research before it is published.

  • 4. Do vendors need to be Gartner clients to get covered in Gartner research?
  • No. Research analysts cover vendors that, based on the analysts' judgment, are significant players in the product sectors Gartner covers. A vendor's status as a Gartner client or non-client is not a factor in this decision.

    Vendors communicate information about their products and services to research analysts through meetings with analysts known as "vendor briefings." Vendors that request vendor briefings typically are seeking coverage by research analysts of their specific products and services. Gartner manages the vendor briefing process to match specific technology companies with the most appropriate research analysts, as well as to assure that a specific company's scale and scope are appropriate for Gartner research studies. Vendors may obtain access to research analysts through vendor briefings or other mutually agreed contacts regardless of whether or not they are Gartner clients.

  • 5. Does Gartner's receipt of revenue from vendors represent a threat to the independence of Gartner's research?
  • No. Influence over research content or the amount of research coverage focused on any vendor, sector, or topic is not, and has never been, for sale by Gartner. Vendors purchase Gartner services to obtain knowledge and market insights they cannot obtain elsewhere. In addition, they purchase exhibit space at Gartner conferences to reach highly qualified audiences they cannot reach through other channels.

  • 6. Do Gartner investors or board members influence decisions to pursue or reject specific research issues or agendas?
  • No. Neither Gartner investors nor our board members are involved in the research process in any way, or in any way influence the content of Gartner research.

  • 7. What guidelines and procedures are in place to insure the independence and objectivity of research analysts?
  • Each piece of Gartner research is subject to a rigorous peer-review process by the worldwide analyst team. Sign-off approval by research management is required prior to publication. This process is designed to surface any inconsistencies in research methodology, data collection, and conclusions, as well as to use fully Gartner's collective expertise on any research topic.

  • 8. What recourse do vendors have if they regard research conclusions reached by Gartner analysts to be biased, inaccurate or unfair?
  • Gartner maintains a formal process for interacting with technology companies that question the fairness or accuracy of any research program. Gartner's Ombudsman and a dedicated support staff thoroughly investigate all such claims. The guidelines and disciplines of this core process have led the industry since Gartner originated the business of independent technology research and advice in 1979. To contact the Office of the Ombudsman, please call +1 203 316 3334 or e-mail ombudsman@gartner.com

  • 9. Under what conditions are vendors able to quote or re-use Gartner research?
  • All Gartner research is copyrighted and subject to Gartner's quote policy. Any external use of quotes or excerpts from Gartner research must be approved in advance by Gartner's Vendor Relations department (contact at vendor.relations@gartner.com). Gartner research may not be used to endorse a technology company, product or service, or to criticize a vendor's competitor. All quotes and excerpts must be taken from published research that is less than 12 months old and may not contain company-specific references. In addition, enterprises may purchase the right to re-use published Gartner Research via the Gartner Connects or Reprints programs (to contact, call +1 203 316 6500 or e-mail reprints@gartner.com). Review our policies on quote use in more detail at Gartner's Policy Regarding Quoting Our Copyrighted Material

  • 10. What are Gartner's guidelines regarding client-commissioned Gartner studies?
  • Gartner may be engaged by a vendor to assess and interpret either a market segment or services provided by that company to a specific customer or group of customers. These studies are completed using standard Gartner assessment tools, methodologies or data-gathering techniques, and include interpretation of the results by Gartner. These studies are conducted by Gartner's Consulting business unit -- not by Gartner Research.

    Gartner neither uses nor incorporates the results of individual client-commissioned studies for publication in our subscription research services.

    Gartner may be engaged by a technology company to perform a market study or assessment. In cases where the study is completed using standard Gartner tools and methodologies (for example, Total Cost of Ownership), external use of the study may be granted under certain conditions and guidelines. In cases where the study is completed using custom Gartner consulting resources and methodologies, external use of the results by the vendor is generally prohibited.

  • 11. What guidelines apply to studies commissioned by multiple clients as a group?
  • Studies commissioned collectively by multiple clients, in which teams of competing clients work together to create industry studies or standards for publication, may be released publicly, citing Gartner's role. Work for non-profit agencies may also be disclosed if based on prior agreement. Studies performed for a government client that is subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) may be released as required, with restrictions as specified by the FOIA.

  • 12. In what situations are vendors permitted to cite the use of Gartner proprietary research tools in promotional material?
  • Gartner licenses proprietary research tools, or methodologies, that have set the industry standard as authoritative disciplines for assessing specific aspects of IT to outside parties. Licensees include vendors. We require that our methodologies be identified in the final product to provide appropriate attribution to our intellectual property.

  • 13. Are vendors of specific technology solutions, purchased or otherwise chosen by Gartner, Inc., permitted to publicize these choices for their own benefit?
  • No. Gartner, Inc.'s choices of technology solutions are strictly confidential. Selected technology companies may not advertise or otherwise disclose their presence in Gartner's internal systems.

  • 14. Does Gartner Consulting provide technology implementation services for IT users?
  • No. Gartner performs no technology implementation for clients whatsoever. Gartner takes research positions on which technologies and services will succeed or fail, but we have no intrinsic interest in seeing one solution succeed over another.

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