Magic Quadrant (MQ) refers to a series published by IT consulting firm Gartner of market research reports that rely on proprietary qualitative data analysis methods to demonstrate market trends, such as direction, maturity and participants. Their analyses are conducted for several specific technology industries and are updated every 1–2 years.
Gartner rates vendors upon two criteria: completeness of vision and ability to execute. Using a methodology which Gartner does not disclose[verification needed], these component scores lead to a vendor position in one of four quadrants:
- Leaders - Vendors in the Leaders quadrant have the highest composite scores for their Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. A vendor in the Leaders quadrant has the market share, credibility, and marketing & sales capabilities needed to drive the acceptance of new technologies. These vendors demonstrate a clear understanding of market needs, they are innovators and thought leaders, and they have well-articulated plans that customers and prospects can use when designing their infrastructures and strategies. In addition, they have a presence in the five major geographical regions, consistent financial performance, and broad platform support.
- Challengers - A vendor in the Challengers quadrant participates in the market and executes well enough to be a serious threat to vendors in the Leaders quadrant. They have strong products, as well as sufficiently credible market position and resources to sustain continued growth. Financial viability is not an issue for vendors in the Challengers quadrant, but they lack the size and influence of vendors in the Leaders quadrant.
- Visionaries - A vendor in the Visionaries quadrant delivers innovative products that address operationally or financially important end-user problems at a broad scale, but has not yet demonstrated the ability to capture market share or sustainable profitability. Visionary vendors are frequently privately held companies and acquisition targets for larger, established companies. The likelihood of acquisition often reduces the risks associated with installing their systems.
- Niche Players - Vendors in the Niche Players quadrant are often narrowly focused on specific market or vertical segments. This quadrant may also include vendors that are adapting their existing products to enter the market under consideration, or larger vendors having difficulty developing and executing on their vision.
Much of the criticism is focused on the lack of disclosure of the money received from the vendors it rates, raising conflict of interest issues. Also a source of criticism is the lack of disclosure on the vendor's component scores and the lack of transparency in Gartner's methodology used to derive the vendor's position on the MQ map.
The Magic Quadrant, and analysts in general, also skew the market: according to research conducted by a Scottish lecturer, by applying their methodologies to describe a market, they change that marketplace to fit their tools.
Another criticism is that open source vendors are not considered sufficiently by analysts like Gartner, as has been published in an online discussion between a VP from Talend and a German Research VP from Gartner.
Gartner was the target of a federal lawsuit (filed May 29, 2009) from software vendor, ZL Technologies, challenging the “legitimacy” of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant rating system. Gartner filed a motion to dismiss by claiming First Amendment protection since it contends that its MQ reports contain "pure opinion," which legally means opinions which are not based on fact. The court threw out the ZL case because it lacked a specific complaint. That decision was upheld on appeal.
Analyzed markets include:
|Magic Quadrant Name||References||Published||Link Verified|
|Application Infrastructure for Systematic SOA Application Projects||||21 Oct 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Application Performance Management||||16 Aug 2012||28 Dec 2013|
|Business Intelligence Platforms||||29 Jan 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Business Process Analysis Tools||||22 Feb 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Business Process Management Suites|
|Client Management Tools||||31 Jan 2012||27 Mar 2012|
|Communications Outsourcing and Professional Services, Worldwide||||03 Mar 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Continuous Controls Monitoring||||23 Mar 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Corporate Performance Management Suites||||25 Jan 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|CRM Customer Service Contact Centers||||09 Apr 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|CRM Multichannel Campaign Management||||13 May 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Data Integration Tools||||25 Nov 2009||28 Nov 2010|
|Data Warehouse Database Management Systems||||28 Jan 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Data Center Outsourcing and Utility Services, Europe||||27 Apr 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Energy Trading and Risk Management Platforms||||14 Apr 2011||11 Apr 2012|
|Enterprise Content Management||||16 Nov 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Enterprise LAN (Global)||||10 Jun 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Enterprise Marketing Management||||14 Oct 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Enterprise Single Sign-On||||15 Sep 2009||28 Nov 2010|
|Enterprise Wireless E-Mail Software Market||||10 Jun 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Field Service Management||||17 Oct 2012||09 Oct 2013|
|Global Network Service Providers||||08 Mar 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Help Desk Outsourcing, Europe||||20 Jul 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Horizontal Portals||||03 Sep 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Integrated Workplace Management Systems||||31 Jul 2008||24 Jan 2011|
|Integration Service Providers||||20 Nov 2009||28 Nov 2010|
|Integrated Software Quality Suites||||31 Jan 2011||16 Mar 2011|
|ITSM IT Service Management||||20 Aug 2012||29 Dec 2013|
|IT Project and Portfolio Management||||07 Jun 2010||28 Nov 2010|
|Managed File Transfer||||18 Sept 2009||22 Sept 2009|
|Managed Security Service Providers, North America||||16 Apr 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Master Data Management for Customer Data||||16 Jun 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Master Data Management for Product Data||||09 Jul 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|MFPs and Printers||||09 Dec 2008||08 Aug 2009|
|Midmarket and Tier 2-Oriented ERP for Product-Centric Companies||||04 Jun 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies||||27 June 2012||27 June 2012|
|Network Access Control||||27 Mar 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Network Configuration and Change Management|
|Network Intrusion-prevention system||||04 Apr 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Operational Database Management Systems||||21 Oct 2013||21 Oct 2013|
|Outage Management Systems||||08 Jun 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Product Life Cycle Management|||
|Sales Force Automation||||28 Jul 2010||17 Aug 2010|
|Security Information and Event Management||||29 May 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|SMB Multifunction Firewalls||||10 Jul 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Social Software||||31 Oct 2008||08 Aug 2009|
|Software Change & Configuration Management (Distributed Platforms)||||26 Mar 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|SSL VPNs||||11 Dec 2008||08 Aug 2009|
|Transportation Management Systems||||13 Apr 2010||29 Sep 2011|
|Unified Communications||||12 Sep 2008||08 Aug 2009|
|Utilities Customer Information Systems||||15 Jun 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|User Provisioning||||15 Aug 2008||08 Aug 2009|
|Video Telepresence Solutions|||
|WAN Optimization Controllers||||30 Jun 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Warehouse Management Systems||||06 Apr 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Web Content Management||||05 Aug 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Web Fraud Detection||||18 Jun 2013|
|Web Hosting and Hosted Cloud System Infrastructure Services (On Demand)||02 Jul 2009||08 Aug 2009|
|Wireless LAN Infrastructure||||26 Nov 2008||08 Aug 2009|
|Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure||||26 June 2014||4 December 2014|
- "Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes: How Gartner Evaluates Vendors Within a Market". Gartner.com. February 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- "Looking beyond the magic quadrant to find the nitty-gritty". Real Story Group. 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- "Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously | Institute of Industry Analyst Relations". Analystrelations.org. 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- "Vendor complains in a very public blog post about Gartner's Data Integration Magic Quadrant". Sagecircle.wordpress.com. 2009-12-29. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- "Is shooting on the referee productive? | Institute of Industry Analyst Relations". Analystrelations.org. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- "ZL v Gartner Complaint". Scribd.com. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- "E-mail Archiving Vendor Takes on Gartner's Magic Quadrant". EnterpriseStorageForum.com. 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- "Unpublished Dispositions (Memoranda)". Ca9.uscourts.gov. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- "Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes". Gartner.com. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2009-08-08.