Market intelligence/horizon scanning

We provide market intelligence and horizon scanning services for and about the information and library technology sector. We have provided  overviews and analysis of the library technology market, e-books & e-audio, research systems (including Research Data Management). We typically cover key issues & trends, market players and future directions. We have done this for major sector bodies like Jisc, individual institutions, organisations and companies

Market Research. We undertook market research for OCLC covering a range of European countries, including, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. “Ken provided critical information on market segments we were considering for a new product. We knew his research background, connections in Europe and knowledge of the library community would be invaluable, and he delivered!”. Erin Duncan OCLC • Product Marketing Manager

Ken Chad is the author of Higher Education Library Technology (HELibTech) briefing papers which contain important market analysis:

HELibTech Briefing Paper No. 1

Library management system to library services platform. Resource management for libraries: a new  perspective. By Ken Chad. Higher Education Library Technology (HELibTech) Briefing Paper. August 2015 . This briefing paper contrasts the library resource management landscape now with the situation in 2008 when the Jisc/Sconul LMS study recommended that the time was not right for libraries to purchase a new library system. In the intervening period a new generation of ‘library services platforms’ (LSPs) has emerged and the pace of procurement has quickened. Ken analyses the current landscape and  looks at the strategic issues around the changing nature of library collections, shared services, workflows and  analytics. The paper is made available under a CC-0 license to enable easy re-use. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4315.3128

Jackie Marfleet, Librarian of Senate House Library, University of London commented:
At a time of great change in libraries and library technology we need clear analysis. This short briefing paper provides very helpful insights into a complex technology and library collection landscape. It will be invaluable not just for librarians but also a wider audience of managers in Higher Education.

HELibTech Briefing Paper No. 2

Rethinking the Library Services Platform. By Ken Chad. Higher Education Library Technology (HELibTech) Briefing Paper. January 2016

The second in the series of HELIbTech briefing papers challenges the current definition of a library services platform (LSP) and suggests way in which it might develop. While a new generation of library systems has emerged there remains a very significant lack of interoperability between the various components that make up the wider library technology ‘ecosystem’. So, although we talk of library services platforms, libraries and library system vendors have not yet fully realised a platform-based, interoperable library ecosystem. Cloud computing could help break this paradigm as it is doing with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.  Gartner, an information technology market research and advisory firm suggests that the ERP suite is being deconstructed into what they characterises as a ‘postmodern ERP.’ This will result will be more loosely coupled environment with much of the functionality sourced as Cloud services or via business process outsourcers. Will we see the same trend in library technology? A more open library technology ecosystem, possibly making better use of open source components would eliminate the restrictions of a closed and monolithic suite of services from a single vendor. Solutions are moving to The Cloud but aren’t yet really platforms. It is possible that such a platform-based ecosystem model will be the “next generation” in library automation. The promise for libraries is a more flexible and cost effective solution and for users a much improved user experience. The paper is made available under a CC-0 license to enable easy re-use.

Suzanne Enright, Registrar at the University of Westminster, London commented:
It is always important to see library technology trends in a wider context, not least that of the wider corporate ecosystem and the HELibTech briefing papers are really helpful in navigating our complex landscape. This briefing paper provides interesting new insights into the challenging area of library related technology, where the demands of our users aren’t always matched by the market providers. The need for interoperability is in constant flux in the increasingly complex world of technology-enhanced learning and research.