A few days ago, my fellow compatriot Jason Corsello wrote about Gartner’s new magic quadrant. I’ve actually looked upon the Gartner magic quadrants with some disdain in the last few years, not because of any perceived lack of validity, thoroughness or any other concern with the approach to analysis that Jim Holincheck does, but more because their goal of simplifiying the market may have gone a bit too far.
The Magic Quadrants are wonderful tools. They allow Gartner subscribers to easily and quickly identify the top performing vendors in any given space in mere seconds. Some short descriptions of each vendor follows and to be honest, the assessment of the quadrant is usually within that 80% rule of where I would put vendors myself.
The problem is that I fear some organization will look at the quadrant (top right) and when performing their vendor selections, they will just long list those vendors in the leaders box. I may be speaking out of turn, but the magic quadrants are really not about steering people to certain vendors. A variety of assessments from financial, to functional to technology to market presence, etc have been used to evaluate each vendor, but these evaluations do not mean that fit can be prescribed simply from a visual with dots on it.
The quadrants are viable tools, but are not a guide in and of themselves. Whether you go out and hire Holincheck (some of my own clients have had great success with him), Corsello, me or any other consultant, the fact is that if you don’t already know the market well enough on your own, then you do need a guide.
Jason Corsello has a number of really good suggestions on how to use the Magic Quadrant. Hope you go read them.