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ITSM ITSSM Magic Quadrant Fact, Fiction and Fantasy.

BMC Software has purchased the rights to republish the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for ITSSM, you may see that information here.

Let it be noted that BMC does this each year, and by doing so allows clients of all sizes access to this information.  That's called leadership.

I have been working in the vendor community since leaving the real world of supporting people in 1999.

In that time I have loaned my magic to FrontRange, LANDesk, TouchPaper, ServiceNow and BMC. 

I pretty much have seen it all in the ITSM tool community, every gimmick, trick, tool functionality and feature.  All 71.5 ITIL processes verified and boxes of software with so many certifications and swirls, you'd think "Go Daddy" marketing ran our industry.

A few years ago I created a crowd-sourced version of software, 27,000 views later I learned a few things.

  1. Some humans are ugly; I had to remove the capability to "Down Vote"
  2. People like the idea of "voting".

There have been no shortages of "guides" to help people pick software:

Heck even one vendor, whose leadership I admire, has gone so far to create an "assistance" guide and pose it as "independent" on a major industry site, its only after you give away your social security number, your dog's DNA that you find out you just became a marketing opportunity.  Brilliant marketing =1, Ethics =0.

With so many people and organizations scrambling to get in front of your eyes you have to wonder, HOW MUCH MONEY IS BEHIND this type of software, even MORE scary, how MUCH money is BEHIND promoting the "illusion" of HELP.

For the record the most valuable piece of content in my "never to be humble opinion" is the Gartner 2012 Hype cycle for Emerging Technologies.

So with that background I want to take a walk down memory lane and explore Gartner Research. 

I have relationships with the current two Gartner Analysts. Jeff Brooks (@jeffintheFM) and Jarod Greene (@jarodgreene), I encourage you to reach out to them on twitter, ask them questions.  This unprecedented access to analyst is redefining relationships on many levels.

You can look very quickly to both their bodies of work:

It is Gartner’s position to not only research industry trends, influencers, tools, but to define the space and a vendor's ability to execute in that space.

Gartner’s greatest power, outside of Jarod Greene's unstoppable humanity on twitter is their Magic Quadrant IP.

This IP has the power to instantly create a short list for any organizations software selection, mind you that is NOT the intended purpose, but some people use water for their infinity edge pools, some people use water to share with a village of 1000 hungry children.

This IP also has the power to create great consternation in the world of IT software vendors who do or do not make the list.

While recently in Australia, the hyperbole with vendors was at an all time high.  I actually had to tell one SE, "Dude, we are not hunting for woolly mammoth, it's just the Gartner Magic Quadrant."

No matter what Gartner does with the IP, much like "Project Runway", "One day you're in the next you're out".

We need to sit with this for a moment. 

There are companies, big and small, five people to 10,000 people who don't make the Magic Quadrant.

Just take a look at the list of Pink Elephant's Pink Verified Vendors to get an idea of the magnitude of this list.

Not making the MQ actually means, some folks, will be laid off, some folks won't get a chance to show their "pony" and some vendors even go out of business.

You can never underestimate the negatives when creating lists. Just look at the recent outpouring over Klout's fairness and you will see that, as much as IT people love to preach KPI, we refuse to apply KPI principles to ourselves, unless of course, WE CREATE the criteria.  Oh, it’s good to be King.

I accepted this fact five years ago when I entered the social media fray.  I understood then as I do now, Social Media enables mans greatest weakness to be more expedient, judgment as a service. 

If you want to understand social media's impact, look no further than to the world screaming to be the judge, jury and executioner, within moments, with no information or facts.

I digress. On the positive side, Gartner analysts do exhaustive work to create the Magic Quadrant, as much as it may look like a few dots and a handful of pages of marketecture, it is not.

Lydia Leong of Gartner speaks of the "process of creating a Magic Quadrant”.

Remember, the quadrant is about a vendor’s ability to EXECUTE.  All other guesses on "what does it mean" would be better served by printing out the MQ and grabbing one of these.   

Before we get into the ITSSM 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant, let's take a look at the good, funny, dark and sad world of Gartner.


It's enough to make you want to throw in the towel, but when you have every multi billion dollar CEO with a helicopter and dressage horse waiting for your next breath, heck let's keep going.

ITSSM 2012 Behind the Scenes:

Gartner should go on Tour with Madonna, she understands Reinvention, the body of work from Jeff and Jarod is easy to see over the past three years that the "guys" expect innovation while but it’s unclear at times when looking at specific pieces of work.

Flip-flops have less flip and flop than this time line. Let it be noted though, the vendor community for ITSM software has been paralyzed by ITIL for a decade. Innovation was defined by adding more processes to software that would be deployed in organizations that lacked the maturity to handle spreadsheets.

Jeff and Jarod should be celebrated for being so open and transparent.  I would go so far as to say that Jarod Greene is the template for any analyst in the business today.


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.

The new ITSSM Magic Quadrant is for a new set of tools a new set of standards.  Many people have been pontificating about the lack of a LEADER or a VISONARY.

Gartner is not going to come out and tell you step by step, that's what they research the industry for, so save yourself some time and read the following for information on ITSSM Leadership and Visionary Work, your BILLION dollar ITSSM company is right here:


You could say that the body of work presented above is pretty darn exhaustive and maybe I should get a life.  I completely agree with you.

That being said, no one likes to have this much data with out a short little summary that secretly unfolds the hidden treasures from a book of secrets that lives somewhere in the future.

My career, the organizations I have chose to partner with and our industry direction have all one thing in common, me.   I'd use the term "follow the leader" now, but enough people are losing their minds that I wrote this, so I'll just say, hang on, I'm not done, actually, I'm just getting started.

One major, NON-tech piece of advice, support is going to go rogue and it’s no longer part of what we call ITSM.  Support has evolved into a new species, hence the extra “S” in ITSSM.  So stop building processes and start building value based support.

Want to watch, listen or talk to the future? You know where I live. 



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by Chris Dancy