Examining the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Service Desk
Before you say anything, yes I know it isn't the magic quadrant for "service desk". It is the Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools. According to the MQ paper
The ITSSM product must include all the following functionality:
IT incident management
IT problem management
IT change management
IT release governance
IT user self-service
IT request management
IT knowledge management
IT service support analytics and reporting
IT SLA management (with regard to incident and service requests)
Potato potahto. "Service desk" software hasn't been intended solely for the Service Desk function since Change, Config and Release became standard components. Nobody knows what ITSSM is. I'll keep calling it Service Desk software.
The really interesting - and obvious - thing about this report is that two of the quarters of the Magic Quadrant are empty. No vendors in the bottom right or top right quadrants. This is causing a bit of a stir and so it should.
ServiceSphere (Chris Dancy) does an excellent dissection of the flip-flops that lead to this year's quadrant, and talks about those two empty white spaces:
Leadership and Vision are not missing from the quadrant they’re missing from our collective wisdom.
As of September 2012, we have a new quadrant with new definitions focusing around, mobile, social and innovation.
I beg to differ with Chris that there is any "focus" on mobile, social and innovation: they get a mention. If you read the criteria at the bottom of the paper, "Completeness of Vision" - the dimension which no vendor rates well on, giving us those startling white spaces on the Quadrant - seems to me to be mostly about "Ability to Sell", but that doesn't sound as funky as "Completeness of Vision". The key dimensions of "Completeness of Vision" are:
- Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization)
- Sales Execution/Pricing
- Market Responsiveness and Track Record
- Marketing Execution
- Customer Experience
"Ability to Sell" is a very good dimension to have for the Quadrant, mapped against "Ability to Execute". And Gartner are telling us the Service Desk tools vendors suck at selling/marketing. Well, yes.
Now on to some other issues with the document:
When organisations such as Gartner publish competitive analysis like this, you expect them to be immune to KoolAid, and yet the analysts chose to make one of only four highlighed strengths of Remedy
BMC Remedy ITSM provides built-in support for ITIL best practices, which allows organizations to derive quicker time to value.
OFFS. Name one ITIL-related value-accelerating feature of Remedy. Just one. In fact, name one ITIL-out-of-the-box feature of ANY piece of software "which allows organizations to derive quicker time to value". None of us fall for these Crap Factoids. What are Gartner analysts doing regurgitating it?
I note that CA "has out-of-the-box best practices" and EasyVista has "good use of ITIL best practices" and Hornbill "contains strong ITIL understanding and best practices" and LANDesk "is aligned with ITIL best practices". They all have it, dammit. This is not a differentiator for any of them - it should not be considered a strength - and ITILishness does not on its own yield any benefits: success of practices improvement is not about the tools, and tools on their own don't "accelerate time to value".
This statement alone is enough to destroy the credibility of the rest of the report.
Or maybe we should give Gartner the benefit of the doubt, and assume they couldn't think of anything else good to say about Remedy other than to recycle BMC's marketing bullshit. There is a strong argument for this view because another of only four positives is
BMC Atrium CMDB's integration enables IT service visualization to show upstream and downstream impacts. This aids in faster issue recognition and resolution.
which is (a) straight out of the brochures and (b) nothing special vis a vis other tools either.
Speaking of scrabbling around for something nice to say, how can having multiple product offerings be a strength for FrontRange (or any vendor)? Multiple development overheads, mixed messaging, conflicting interests... Experience tells us it almost certainly means the ultimate death of all but one of them. It is an especially weak point when it wasn't listed as a strength for CA or BMC. Sometimes when you can't say something nice it is better to not say anything at all (not that I have ever taken that advice).
There is some great intel in this report, and it presents an excellent high-level view. It puts a rocket up the vendors over their lack of ability to sell their own products. It is a shame Gartner have so narrowed the criteria that they now only look at the few bigger fish in a crowded pond. It is also a shame they aren't a bit more skeptical about the vendors' (their clients') spiels.
P.S. a nit-pick:
ITSSM tools don't do "release governance"; they do release management. ISO38500 defined "governance" for us and Gartner should start complying.
If you found this post useful, and you are a Facebook user, please Like this blog :