This looks like a useful article to direct your Fearless Leader (CTO, CIO, director, whoever) to:
it’s not uncommon for IT research firms to write reports that are funded directly by tech vendors. Money changes hands, and the vendor that commissions a report often reviews it before general distribution. [...]
Analysts also show up in the marketing programs of the companies they cover. IDC’s Bob O'Donnell recently made an appearance in a video produced by thin-client vendor Wyse Technology on the advantages of thin-client computing. IDC also published a report, sponsored by Wyse, that found the software and hardware costs of thin clients to be 40% lower than PCs. Wyse, it turns out, is an IDC client.
And there are hard-to-prove grumblings among small vendors that they have a better chance of being covered by a research firm if they are paying clients. It’s called pay-for-play, [...]
Gartner’s financial statements also reveal a company with ties to the IT industry. The firm invests in hedge funds that hold significant stakes in the companies it covers.
...and so on. Interesting reading.