The Gartner Magic Quadrant doesn’t have anything to do with magic—while you don’t need fairy dust to fit into the Magic Quadrant, there are definitely reasons to take a look at this research. This article discusses what the Gartner Magic Quadrant is and why it might be important to your company.

What Is Gartner’s Magic Quadrant?

Gartner, Inc., is a US-based advisory firm. The Gartner Magic Quadrant is their name for a series of market research studies. Gartner claims that their “rigorous research process and proven methodologies provide the foundation for unbiased, pragmatic and actionable insight.” With more than 1,100 analysts in 26 different countries speaking 50 different languages, Gartner has certainly put an impressive amount of resources behind their market research.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant Analysis

Gartner rates IT technology vendors on 2 separate criteria: completeness of vision and ability to execute. Gartner does not disclose the methodology it uses to rate the vendors. However, every vendor is assigned 1 of the 4 positions, or quadrants, explained below.

Typically, larger and more mature businesses and vendors are classified as leaders. They rate high on the completeness of vision and ability to execute. Being a leader is the most favorable Gartner rating because these companies are well-positioned for the future.

Challengers score high on the ability to execute but low on the completeness of visions. These companies and vendors supposedly have minimal plans for the industry. They are also businesses that have settled comfortably in their industry and currently dominate a large segment of their market.

Most companies and vendors that fall under the visionary rating are smaller. They lack the ability to execute but they score higher on the completeness of vision. These companies focus on innovation.

Niche Players
Finally, niche players score low on both completeness of vision and ability to execute. Niche players are often small companies and vendors that are just entering the industry or companies that are focused on a small segment. They typically don’t innovate or outperform other companies.

Where the Gartner Magic Quadrant Is Used

Businesses use Gartner’s Magic Quadrant analysis in order to gain insights into their companies. Sometimes it’s not about the information that you have available but about having the right point of view or insight into a problem. Companies that are evaluated for the Gartner Magic Quadrant can make better large-scale and everyday decisions. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is also important for investors.

How Investors Use the Gartner Magic Quadrant

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is used by investors to rate certain companies. It makes sense to figure out what type of company you’re dealing with before making a significant investment of time and money. But Gartner emphasizes that there is more to selecting the right vendor than studying how they fall on the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

Potential Shortfalls of the Gartner Magic Quadrant

It has been argued that Gartner’s Magic Quadrant isn’t really all that useful for investors and companies alike. There are 2 reasons for this. First, it’s unclear how Gartner arrives at its magic quadrant evaluation. But more importantly, a lot of the criticism focuses on the potential conflict of interest. There is no disclosure about how much money Gartner receives from the vendors it rates.

Nevertheless, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant continues to influence public buying opinion which is why vendors and companies are best advised: “not to shoot at the referee.”

The Takeaway for Your Business

You can certainly benefit by analyzing your company along similar lines as the Magic Quadrant, whether Gartner evaluates your business or not. If you want to be considered a leader along the Magic Quadrant, then you need to realistically evaluate your completeness of vision and ability to execute. Of course, once businesses are established in the industry, it might become a lot easier to get ahead of the pack.

Small companies probably won’t qualify as a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader until they start dominating larger segments of their market. But there is nothing wrong with being a niche player. In fact, it might be easier to keep good profit margins when you’re servicing your niche. That’s partly because you can become the best at what you offer and partly because customers will seek you out.

What Will Make Your Business a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader?

If you plan to coordinate your business growth with your customer needs by being innovative and acting decisively, your company can become a leader in the Magic Quadrant. As we have stated before, there is nothing truly magical about the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Hard work and determination describe it better. And the businesses that have what it takes didn’t get there by accident.

Become a Leader by Going Paperless

One of the things that most leaders in the industry embrace is going paperless for easier document management. There are many reasons to switch to an electronic document management system, but increased productivity and efficiency will help you position yourself in the Gartner Magic Quadrant faster. eFileCabinet can help you make the conversion to a paperless office. At the same time, you can use our workflows to optimize how things get done around the office. We’ll see you in the Magic Quadrant!