Where do your current initiatives and service providers fit? Lower left or the coveted upper right? As leaders, you have probably seen Gartner’s Magic Quadrant in several variations. Each quadrant illustrates an area of IT spending, and vendors are plotted on the quadrant depending on many factors. But does the Magic Quadrant factor in enough variants for company leaders to make educated decisions or is it like shaking the Magic Eight ball?
The table’s X-axis represents Completeness of Vision and the Y-Axis indicates Ability to Execute. Their four quadrants: Leader, upper right; Challenger, top left; Visionary, bottom right; and Niche Player, bottom left. Large vendors with global reach consistently garner top spots. And that certainly highlights their service capabilities. But as a result, what is absent from the Magic Quadrant are the vendors that have not yet achieved global notoriety, but are performing with agility, responsiveness and close alignment with their customers’ needs.
In the IT world, the Gartner Magic Quadrant, created by the technology and research firm Gartner, Inc., essentially asks: “Is your company positioned well for the future? Do you have the technology in place for success?” It weighs the ability to execute today with a completeness of vision for the future in technology, viability, services and features using supposedly objective criteria. This quadrant and business intelligence from Gartner is frequently used by companies in their decision-making process.
Ganesh Prasad, in his blog called the Wisdom of Ganesh, proposes a variant he calls: The Goldilocks Logic Quadrant for Technology Evaluation. He suggests weighing capability fit with solution viability to find something that is “just right” for the company – something that has the right functionality at the right price. It should be Baby Bear approved so to speak, as the point is to not go to either extreme like Mama Bear or Papa Bear. In his quadrant, the premiere square represents value for money.
At The Bill Police (after researching the Quadrant at length) we see some definite shortcomings of the process as all technologies can’t simply be boiled down to 4 squares. It is meant for the lazy IT professional to conduct CYA. Don’t be a CYA’er. Be sure to have a complete sourcing process to identify IT suppliers. Look for vendors who illustrate that they have referenceable, reliable accounts who have used their technology. Then, find those companies and most importantly ask:
Did the product or service really work?
Were promised deliverables indeed delivered?
Were results achieved?
Too often in the Expense Management space, providers cannot even provide clients with metrics by which to gauge success. Unfortunate for the industry…
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