Wednesday, 6 July 2005

The Gartner Magic Quadrant: shaken, not stirred

Duncan has committed a review of the changes presented by the borgs during a recent call to what is one of IT industry's best known marketing tool in his (long) post: Gartner Curries the Magic Quadrant.

In a nutshell:

  • Gartner has defined a 20+ steps to render the research more credible and bring some much needed transparency to the process (no more MQ research meetings at the bar for Gartner analysts?)
  • Significant improvements are carried over from the METAspectrum methodologies -kudos to Gartner for assimilating this
  • This will bring consistency across Gartner silos (don't the borgs like talk to each other?): while some MQ are frankly not well researched, some areas stand out. Like for instance the servers MQ which are supported by the ASEM (Application Servers Evaluation Methods, consisting in series of user-weightable criterii).

Bottom line:

  • These changes are very positive overall and take into accounts years of vendors whinges
  • However, vendors and end users should remain cautious at what should currently be seen purely as a marketing tool with little substance and by no means a credible decision support tool and closely monitor initial deliverables

We recommend Gartner to:

  1. Publish a transparent schedule
  2. Publish the criteria chosen to allow users to weight them according to their individual situations
  3. Detail the impact that the MQ has on product selection: in some cases, it is perfectly acceptable to choose a product ranked as a "challenger", for instance when specific features are required. Gartner should detail those users scenarii.

(thanks to our anonymous contributors for their help with these recommendations)

Previous posts on the subject: The Gartner Magic Quadrant (contains a few links of interest, including to Louis Columbus' famous post).

Closing note: looks like Forrester is trying a frontal attack -try this google and check the sponsored links....

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