I was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of the distinguished industry analyst David Mitchell last Thursday.

Most recently at Managing Vice President at Gartner in the UK leading the team that provides research about the current and future shape of the business applications market, he had previously been a Fellow at Ovum Group following other senior research analysis roles at DataMonitor and Ovum.

His research analysis was built on industry experience at Oracle and Unisys as well as on his educational background in GIS - including anecdotes about riot control and a gentle geekiness that found every topic fascinating.

That breadth of insight and experience made conversations with him entertaining as well as educational, and like many others I've looked forward to meeting him at events around the world.

Christine Adams of Gartner said: "He was a leader at Gartner from day one, not because we made him one, but because it was his nature to make an impact on everything and everyone he touched. This was how he lived. He was joyful, generous and compassionate at all times."

It's hard to imagine his soft Scottish burr and insightful commentary being silenced. David was one of the smartest, kindest people I have had the pleasure of meeting in the technology industry and his untimely death is a loss to us all.