Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's largest information technology research shop, and a leading information technology and advisory consulting company. The company's research is used by its client companies' chief information officers (CIOs) and senior staff to keep abreast of technology trends, industry benchmarking, and best practices. Gartner sells its research and consulting services, and hosts industry events, for clients in 80 countries that include 400 of the companies in the Fortune 500. The company earns the majority of its revenues selling research reports, and in 2009 this totaled $752.5 million.
Three firms - Gartner, Forrester, and IDC - collectively account for 60% of the IT research market.  Gartner maintains a commanding 40% market share in the IT research industry. Its biggest competitor is Forrester Research (FORR). 
Gartner's research segment is the foundation of Gartner's business. It generates the highest revenues for the company and the intellectual capital generated by the research segment is used by both its consulting and events sectors.
Gartner sells its services to executives in charge of making strategic IT decisions such as CIOs, other IT leaders, and IT investment professionals, and Gartner markets its products directly at these specific roles. Other than the United States, no individual country accounts for 10% or more of Gartner's revenues, and no single client accounts for 10% or more of Gartner's total revenue.  The company's research covers the Internet, computer hardware, software, telecommunications, and related technology industries. For examples of the various topics covered by Gartner Research, see the following articles - Blades Server Analysis, iPhone for Business Review, and Cloud Computing Review.
For 2009, Gartner's total revenues were $1.14 billion and its operating income was $134.5 million. Compared to 2008, both its total revenues and operating income declined. Most of these losses were a result of its consulting business declining by 17% in 2009.
Gartner's growth can be assessed using several key metrics:
Gartner's research revenue is largely subscription based, often for multi-year subscriptions. In 2009, Research revenue reached $752 million, a slight decline from its 2008 revenue of $782 million. Contract value, which represents the value attributable to all subscription-related research products, was $784.4 million in 2009. The research client retention rate for 2009 was 78% while wallet retention reached 87%. 
Consulting revenue for 2009 declined 17% to $286.8 million in 2009, compared to $247.4 million in 2008. This primarily was driven by unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations as well as a decline in core consulting. Utilization in core consulting was 68% for 2009. Backlog was $90.9 million at December 31, 2009, a decline of 6% from December 31, 2008.
Gartner held 54 events in 2009. Garner had to cancel or discontinue a number of events in response to the economic downturn. As a result, Events revenue declined by 33% in 2009 to $100 million.
IT research revenues are tied to, but not immediately impacted by, the strength of the IT industry. From 1995 to 2000, the IT industry experienced extremely high growth with the NASDAQ Composite index rising to record highs and the founding of a group of companies known as dot-coms. By 2001, the NASDAQ Composite plummeted in value and many of these companies failed. Because research contracts are typically multi-year and paid in advance, both Gartner and its main competitor, Forrester Research, did not feel the effects of the dot-com bubble on their research revenues until 2002 and 2003.
When the IT industry downturn finally caught up to the IT research industry, Gartner was less effected than its closest competitor, Forrester Research. From 2002-2003, Gartner's research revenue dropped approximately 13% from a high of $535 million in 2001 to a low of $467 million in 2003. Their closest competitor, Forrester Research, was more dramatically affected by the decline in the IT industry and saw their research revenues decline 25% from a high of $123 million in 2002 to a low of $92 million in 2003.
Part of the insulation also stems from that fact that IT research typically constitutes a low cost relative to a client's overall IT budget - the average enterprise client spends $70,000 on research versus total enterprise IT budgets in multi-millions of dollars.  Companies generally continue to need strategic IT information regardless of the economic climate.
Gartner, Forrester Research, and IDC account for 60% of the total IT research market with Gartner maintaining a dominant 40% share and Forrester and IDC both maintaining 10% market share. Gartner's most direct competitor is Forrester Research (FORR) as it competes across Gartner's industry verticals. Other private firms such as IDC, AMR, and the Yankee Group compete against Gartner for specific industry IT research. IDC is similar in market share to Forrester but mainly focuses on IT vendor data rather than covering the entire IT industry.