My apologies. Along with my commentary on Forrester’s GRC Ripple (OOOPS . .. I Mean Wave) I had promised to provide my thoughts on Gartner’s EGRC Magic Quadrant once it was publicly available. Needless to say – August was a busy month, between end of summer trips, preparing for the fall, and kicking off the highly successful OCEG Red Book, GRC Strategy, & IT Bootcamps nearly a month has gone by without my comment. Better late than never . . .

As for process – the best definition of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant in my mind is either ‘black magic’ or more preferably ‘arcane.’ According to my Macintosh dictionary, arcane is defined as:
  • arcane |ärˈkān|(adjective) -understood by few; mysterious or secret
Unfortunately that is where I end up understanding the Gartner process. Unlike Forrester who publishes score, scales, weightings, and explanations thoroughly in a comprehensive spreadsheet – Gartner does not reveal in detail what happens behind the curtain. One is left hoping that the analysts approached it objectively and understand the space. That gives me a lot less to critique because Gartner does not expose as much.
Gartner’s ‘arcane’ magic must be working though. Overall, with some minor tweaks, I feel the current Gartner Magic Quadrant was a fairly well representation of the players, the market, and where they compete. I do get concerned in some of their ‘strengths’ and ‘cautions’ for each vendor as it is not consistently applied. It makes you feel they are digging to put something in the spots. For example, OpenPages is given a caution because they do not provide content. This does not appear on any of the other caution lists – but I know for a fact that several of the vendors represented do not provide content. They did not get the same warning. That is where a model like Forrester’s is more fair (but time consuming often leading to out of date content by the time the process is done). With Forrester you can see each criteria, such as content, get an explanation and a score comparing the vendors.
Gartner has earned more respect from me as their Magic Quadrant is a good representation of the players. This is a change. I remember previous Magic Quadrants where the players came from different parts and niches of the GRC space and often did not compete with each other. It was like comparing apples and oranges. This is sad when so many use these research reports to pick short lists of vendors for RFPs/RFIs. They need to be competitive with each other.
SAP is not in the report – which it was in Forrester’s. This is good and bad for SAP. They had a poor representation in the Forrester report, had they been represented in Gartner’s they may have had the same. Though this is largely do to the fact that SAP is focusing and doing very innovative things in the GRC space that pushes the envelope significantly and challenges the vendors represented in these analyst reports. SAP is focused on making GRC a part of business.
To borrow a Forrester term . . . now for the WIM (What It Means). Whether it is a Forrester Wave or a Magic Quadrant understand that it is one organization’s perspective and may not represent the players for your specific needs and requirements (though the Forrester Wave model allows you to change the weightings for your own needs). It also may not represent all the players you may want to engage for your specific requirements. Use the documents for what they are – a research perspective from one point of view. Do not treat them as authoritative.
My advice to Gartner: while you have a good representation in this Wave, your process and applicability to buyers is far behind Forrester’s. Reveal your criteria and scoring and deliver a tool to help organizations make buying decisions.

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