We get a bit surprised at times at the continued resistance to SaaS platforms and in particular, social technologies in the enterprise.

It’s a bit ironic as the richest, organic development is undoubtedly in the SaaS space. It’s such a gigantic force that to downplay it seems self-destructive. And at the core of social technologies is undoubtedly the cloud.

But the changing forces in the market are giving rise to new a generation of smart thinkers who understand the forces at play and why they are so important.

Constellation Research is a research and analyst group that launched today, and which personifies the rise of the “new analyst,” a community passionate about the changing nature of the enterprise.

These are people who at one time may have been viewed as misfits. They were passionate about the changes coming to the enterprise long before the concepts surrounding social technologies came into vogue.

And not surprisingly, many of them are bloggers.

Bloggers. What a road they have traveled. Bloggers are writers. And if you have ever put your thoughts down in writing, you can understand why these people are the leaders that they are. They think through concepts and practices. They know the space and its nuances. It’s why they should be gaining more acceptance than they ever had before. These bloggers are now the new analysts.

Constellation calls itself a next-generation research group for the buyer who, among other things, is trying to get a grip on social technologies and how that is balanced inside an enterprise.

Not surprisingly, the group finds the traditional research model as one that has seen its day and is not really relevant to the trends in the market and the tenor of the times. Information is widely available. Why turn it into static reports that begin to degrade when they are issued? It makes no sense.

“It is no longer enough to be a subject matter expert. Business demands nuanced but incisive research upon which it can make immediate decisions. Each partner and adviser has been selected for their proven ability to cut through the marketing rhetoric and get to the points that matter to buyers. This has a knock on effect that directly impacts the way Technology/ITC vendors approach development, service and customer relationships,” says R ‘Ray’ Wang, principal analyst & CEO, Constellation Research.

The advisors are a well-known group of folks. They include Wang, who has left the Altimeter Group to form the practice; Sameer Patel and Oliver Marks of the Sovos Group; Dennis Howlett, well-known enterprise pundit and realist;Vinnie Mirchandaniof Deal Architect; Phil Fersht, an outsourcing expert; Paul Papadimitriou, a global consultant; Paul Greenberg author and award-winning blogger; and Brian Solis, one of the most well-known bloggers writing about social technology. Solis now does strategic marketing and research.

You see what these folks have in common? They’re practitioners. They offer what they know by sharing information. They are bloggers but also something more. They’re that new breed of analyst.

We are on guard, though, about a group like this. Enterprise 2.0 still seems quite fractured.

But the biggest part of the social enterprise is learning how to be a practitioner. And that seems like a natural extension of what these people do on a daily basis.

alex williams