Being a B2B consumer can be hard. According to Gartner, 77% of surveyed customers reported their last purchase as very complex or difficult. To aid in this process, Gartner and their counterparts like IDC, Forrester, and G2 all have their own annual reports to help organizations make their enterprise technology purchasing decisions.

While these reports have a wealth of information to support an enterprise’s decision making, in a recent LinkedIn Survey– 22% of respondents said, “ I don’t know how to make sense of the giant report in a way that is meaningful to my decision.” If this is where you stand, don’t worry, we’ve got you.

Here are 3 Key Areas to Focus On While Interpreting the Gartner Magic Quadrant Report:

1. The Renaming of a Platform Category

Market Definitions and Description section is a key area to review when picking up any Magic Quadrant Report. It will help you understand key capabilities of the solutions being evaluated in the report. Occasionally, Gartner will reclassify these categories and definitions.

Why Is This Important?

While buzz terms do seem to pop up all the time, Gartner does not re-coin an industry definition lightly. If they are making the decision to reclassify an industry category, it is something to pay attention to and ask potential solution providers about.

For example: In 2017 they Gartner renamed the Enterprise Content Management category to Content Services Platform, broadening the scope of what is to be expected of a solution provider dedicated to solving content-related problems. Content Services is strategic, rather than solely focused on a single technology solution. As the way organizations interact with content continues to evolve, content services platforms are better equipped to coordinate content usage by users, systems, and applications.

Under this new designation, Gartner evaluates solutions differently. Solutions that are ranked within the leader Quadrant are changing the approach to a ‘long-established’ market.

“Integrated, intelligent content services, repository federation and cloud readiness are now driving differentiation and disruption in a long-established market.”

2. A Major Shift of a Previous Leader

It is not uncommon to see shifts in the ranking of solutions in the Magic Quadrant. Typically, you can see up-and-coming solutions making the climb over the course of a year or two. What you want to keep an eye out for is major shifts- especially if they come after a shift in the market definition.

Why Is This Important?

If a big name falls out of a category they have been designated in for years, it likely means that a major part of their strategy has been lagging for some time.

For example: In 2020 IBM fell from the “Leaders” Quadrant for Content Services Platforms after years in the top corner. Taking a deeper look at the cautions of the solution, you will see things like “Declining Market Share” and “Lack of Support”. Those trends didn’t start in 2020, they were likely years in the making, and simply compounded over time.

Major shifts will indicate red flags that you shouldn’t ignore. Check out the full report for Content Services Platforms for more information.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant Chart

3. Comments Regarding What’s Important For Your Organization

You are not alone in the business challenges you are facing, but your organization is unique. There may be some criteria that is evaluated on the report that isn’t all that relevant to your organization. If you are evaluating a specific solution, it is important to read though the outlined Strengths and Cautions and determine how big of a factor they play in your organization’s decision-making process.

Global presence within the Marketplace may be a big defining characteristic for a multi-national organization. A company with shared services fully managed in the United States may not see that as a defining characteristic for a vendor.

Ultimately, all industry analyst reports are just one of many tools you can use to make your purchasing decision, and software is only part of the equation. Having the guidance of an experienced process partner is critical to the success of any technology implementation. Contact us to learn more about the power of combining industry-leading technology with the right partner.

About Ema

Ema is a Director of Sales – Enterprise Solutions at Naviant. Ema is passionate about helping organizations navigate Digital Transformation. She has vast experience in helping organizations address their top IT Priorities and developing departmental solutions for process automation to expand the solution throughout the enterprise. She is also the host of Naviant’s Digital Transformation Talks series on YouTube and the Co-Host of the Third Thursday. In these series, experts from the Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation space come together to share their ideas. When not at work, she is busy chasing after her two daughters, spending time outside, and hosting friends and family for gatherings.