What is an Ombudsman?

The Gartner Office of the Ombudsman has been modeled after that of the news industry, in which the ombudsman takes action on issues of accuracy, fairness, tone and balance submitted by newspaper readers or radio listeners. As in the news industry, the Gartner ombudsman recommends approaches to address these issues via content or process updates.

At Gartner, these issues may be raised by clients, non-clients or employees. We don’t simply react to comments from these audiences — we invite these comments with a dedicated website and staff that address issues as they arise.

Our ombudsman is responsible for ensuring that:

  • Gartner analysts are allowed to operate independent of influence.
  • Analysts’ opinions are grounded in a consistent methodology.
  • Any dispute around fairness or accuracy is resolved openly and equitably.
  • Associates act within acceptable ethical boundaries, and these boundaries are constantly monitored.
  • People who raise issues about our fairness and objectivity to the Office of the Ombudsman do so in a confidential environment.

What is an Ombudsman’s job?

In addition to handling disputes, the ombudsman:

  • Reviews the Gartner Code of Conduct, the Gartner Copyright and Quote Policy and processes for fairness and modifies appropriately.
  • Builds a framework for consistent application of fairness standards.
  • Publishes articles related to fairness and accuracy on The ombudsman works with Gartner management across the Company to ensure responsiveness and compliance.

Why make the effort?

Conflict of interest issues have, in recent years, emerged in many industries and areas of business. Given the nature of the current environment, we felt it was important to formalize and publicize our commitment to objectivity for the benefit of both our associates and our clients. The ombudsman simply makes more public the ethics and standards we established when we were founded in 1979 and which have continued to mature ever since.

Thoughtful companies deal proactively with potentially contentious issues and have mechanisms to deal with dispute and rumor. At Gartner, the Office of the Ombudsman is that mechanism. Our integrity is everything. Safeguarding it on an ongoing basis is an excellent investment.

How does the Office of the Ombudsman lead to positive change?

Whether you are an end user, vendor, Gartner employee, client or non-client, the ombudsman is available to help with issues of fairness, objectivity, process and consistency. If there is any doubt, or if you are just in need of clarification, then contacting the ombudsman is the prudent course of action. The ombudsman will listen to what you have to say and guide you through the process of addressing your issues. Bringing clarity to the task of delivering insight benefits everyone and ensures value and service without compromises.