Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools

20 August 2012 ID:G00231576
Analyst(s): Jeffrey M. BrooksJarod Greene


IT service desk tools themselves are no longer sufficient for maintaining business productivity. IT organizations selecting these tools should use this Magic Quadrant to evaluate vendors regarding technical requirements and ongoing infrastructure and operations maturity improvement efforts.

Market Definition/Description

IT service support management (ITSSM) tools offer a tighter integration of functions that correlates with the activities of the broader IT support organization. ITSSM tools leverage a business view of IT services, enabling the IT support organization to quickly resolve or escalate issues and problems, improve root cause isolation, and provide higher levels of business user satisfaction. Using this business view, IT support organizations manage incidents, problems and service requests throughout their life cycles at a more efficient and effective rate. ITSSM tools also enable organizations to automate the workflow of process frameworks (such as ITIL) specific to IT service support (such as incident, problem, change, release governance and request management). ITSSM tools provide modules that enable business end users to find knowledge to support/resolve their computing-related issues or to request an IT service via an IT self-service module.

Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools
Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools
Source: Gartner (August 2012)

Vendor Strengths and Cautions

Axios Systems

Founded in 1988, Axios Systems is a privately held vendor headquartered in the United Kingdom. The vendor's ITSSM tool is designed to support ITIL best practices and it offers integration capabilities with third-party solutions. For this Magic Quadrant we reviewed assyst v.10. By inclusion criteria standards, Axios Systems also offers a multitenant software as a service (SaaS) version called assystSaaS.
  • Axios Systems has devoted its full attention to IT service management.
  • The vendor has strong customer relationship capabilities, demonstrated in customer references that remarked on how well Axios listens and responds to them.
  • Axios Systems' Info Zone provides a concise portion of the screen to display real-time information relevant to resolving issues quickly.
  • The vendor provides a mobile interface for both IT support personnel and end-user customers.
  • Axios Systems has a slower-than-average annual development cycle because it addresses perceived customer shortcomings in the product.
  • The vendor's product road map has continually kept it on par with other solutions, instead of offering innovative features and functions.
  • Axios Systems could stand to improve in the area of knowledge management.
  • The vendor has fewer strategic global partners than its competitors, and customers report that the technical skills and capabilities of current partners could stand to be improved.

BMC Software

Founded in 1980, BMC is a publicly held company headquartered in Houston. BMC Remedy IT Service Management (ITSM) is a broad suite of ITSSM capabilities that supports the implementation, integration and automation of IT service management processes. While BMC's acquisition of Numara Software earlier in 2011 broadened its IT service desk offerings, BMC only offers Remedy and Remedy OnDemand within the confines of the ITSSM tool. For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated BMC Remedy ITSM 7.6.04.
  • BMC Remedy ITSM integrates well with non-ITSSM tools, including BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management and BMC Atrium CMDB. This better positions Remedy to meet the needs of global enterprises that require solutions to reduce infrastructure management complexity.
  • The vendor has demonstrated the ability to develop and leverage its own professional services organizations. When coupled with a strong partner ecosystem, this allows it to quickly deploy resources with high levels of experience and expertise globally.
  • BMC Remedy ITSM provides built-in support for ITIL best practices, which allows organizations to derive quicker time to value.
  • BMC Atrium CMDB's integration enables IT service visualization to show upstream and downstream impacts. This aids in faster issue recognition and resolution.
  • Customers still report challenges with ease of use and user experience design.
  • BMC has yet to effectively communicate ease of upgrade capabilities for pre-7.6 customers, which adds to the legacy reputation of being complex, compared with competitors.
  • BMC Remedy ITSM provides advanced dashboard and reporting analytics as part of the solution, but these capabilities are licensed separately per user.
  • BMC Remedy ITSM supports broad functionality that appeals to mature IT organizations, although less mature organizations may purchase functionality they cannot use.

CA Technologies

Founded in 1976, with its IPO in 1981, CA Technologies is a publicly held company located in Islandia, New York. CA offers an ITSSM tool that has out-of-the-box best practices and ease-of-integration capabilities. The vendor offers a wide product range of integrated options for ITSSM tools and ancillary modules, such as portfolio planning, vendor relationship management and service cost transparency. The 2010 acquisition of Nimsoft provided CA with a SaaS-based offering, which has been most often targeted for and positioned to managed service providers (MSPs). For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated CA Service Desk Manager 12.6.
  • CA has a strong global presence from both sales channel and customer installed base perspectives, and a demonstrated ability to support customers with true global requirements.
  • Customers report high levels of satisfaction with support in the presales and postsales phases.
  • Many customers have reported that they implemented CA Service Desk Manager on their own, highlighting its ease of deployment.
  • The vendor has an innovative approach to social collaboration with CA Open Space as a peer-to-peer community offering, but deployments have been limited.
  • CA's insufficient marketing of its SaaS-delivered solution has resulted in an inability to compete with the better-marketed solutions of its competitors.
  • Pricing for professional services for implementation of CA's offering may be higher than the products provided by other ITSSM tool vendors.
  • CA customers have expressed that the vendor sometimes has an inability to effectively communicate future product road maps.
  • CA's penetration of emerging markets trails that of its main competitors.

Cherwell Software

Co-founded by the former CEO of FrontRange Solutions, Cherwell Software is a privately owned company headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado. With its first non-beta sale in 2007, the vendor operates with no outside debt or current venture capital funding, with the primary objective to create innovative software to meet the needs of its customers. For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated Cherwell Service Management v.4.0.
  • The vendor offers its product across both on-premises and hosted SaaS licensing models with the same source code, and has demonstrated customers that have changed licensing models during the relationship.
  • Customers report strong preimplementation and postimplementation support, in terms of speed of feedback and responsiveness.
  • Cherwell Software's XM- based, three-tier application allows organizations to leverage rich-client and browser-based advantages, regardless of device or computing architecture.
  • Cherwell Service Management's One-Step actions enable organizations to create and execute microworkflows at any point within the tool.
  • Cherwell Service Management's self-service and reporting are not as strong as its competitors' products.
  • The vendor has fewer global resources than its competitors, rendering it less capable of global penetration and selling into emerging regions.
  • Cherwell Software's lack of marketing execution, as compared with other ITSSM tool vendors, has resulted in poor brand recognition and market mind share.
  • The vendor does not sell additional IT operations management (ITOM) solutions to complement its ITSSM tool, requiring prospects to consider alternative vendors that might have broader solution sets.


Founded in 1992, EasyVista is a publicly traded company headquartered in France. Formerly known as Staff and Line, the vendor is in the process of rebranding, but has been providing ITSM tools for two decades, including SaaS solutions for ITSM since 2000. For this Magic Quadrant, EasyVista was evaluated on its 2012 version.
  • EasyVista's modern user interface makes good use of screen real estate and intuitive user interaction, specifically for incident management.
  • The vendor has demonstrated a mix of customers using both on-premises and SaaS licensing models.
  • Customers report good experiences with out-of-the-box wizards that allow for rapid deployment and codeless design for customizations that hold through upgrades.
  • EasyVista provides a good use of ITIL best practices alongside leveraging native integration with the vendor's IT asset management and configuration repository offerings to provide an end-to-end view of supported infrastructure components.
  • EasyVista's consultancy practice is lagging behind the overall growth of the company.
  • The vendor has a higher concentration of customers in EMEA than in other regions, and is slowly growing its North American presence, with few documented references.
  • EasyVista lacks professional services resources, relative to its competition, to meet global demand.
  • The vendor's capabilities specific to mobile and social media are behind those of its competitors.

FrontRange Solutions

Founded in 1989, FrontRange is a privately held company based in Pleasanton, California. It has invested heavily in the development of its multitenant SaaS solution, which was brought to market in early 2012. FrontRange Solutions offers both FrontRange ITSM and Heat, its IT service desk offering. For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated FrontRange ITSM Enterprise Edition 7.1.2 and SaaS 2011.3.
  • FrontRange ITSM makes good use of integrated processes and functions consolidated in a single user interface.
  • FrontRange Solutions has multiple offerings in the IT service desk tool space, enabling it to sell to customers of lower maturity levels initially, then to move them onto ITSSM tools when the appropriate maturity level is achieved.
  • The vendor's brand recognition is very strong, with its history in the space and its customers' footprint on its products.
  • FrontRange ITSM includes content from its discovery engine to show infrastructure component interdependencies to assist analysts in making better decisions.
  • FrontRange Solutions has experienced a recent CEO change.
  • Currently, the on-premises ITSM and SaaS offerings leverage different source code, which creates additional considerations for clients when migrating from one licensing model to the other.
  • The number of implementation partners that the vendor has causes some concern over its continued ability to meet global professional services demands.
  • Although a market leader for many years, FrontRange Solutions was late to market with its SaaS offering, due to its decision to build a multitenant cloud architecture.


Founded in 1995, Hornbill is privately owned and headquartered near London. The vendor has invested heavily in its Visual Process Management Engine (VPME) feature to provide complex process modification and creation. For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated Supportworks ITSM Enterprise v.3.4.2.
  • Supportworks ITSM Enterprise contains strong ITIL understanding and best practices within the tool.
  • The product has a familiar user interface to create an intuitive user experience.
  • Supportworks ITSM Enterprise provides good reporting and dashboarding capabilities for both standard metrics and executive scorecards.
  • The product scored the highest in ease of use among customer references.
  • Hornbill has limited global scalability, as seen in its lack of large global customer references.
  • Its new SaaS licensing and deployment model, released in early 2011, is unproven in large enterprises.
  • Hornbill has a limited partner network for a skilled, global presence of distribution and implementation resources.
  • The vendor has less penetration in emerging markets, leaving it with steady, slow growth year over year.


Founded in 1939, HP is a publicly traded company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. HP Service Manager integrates with HP's broad and deep set of ITOM offerings. For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated HP Service Manager 9.30.
  • HP's strong global sales, service presence and partner ecosystem allow for direct and indirect sales in all regions.
  • HP Service Manager is an open system that is highly customizable and flexible, with ease of upgrades reported from customers within the 9.x releases.
  • HP Service Manager has strong capabilities in change, configuration and release management integration for collision detection and risk assessment.
  • HP Service Manager supports robust executive dashboards available as add-ons to the current ITSSM tool.
  • HP has struggled to communicate its vision and direction for ITSSM tools to its customers and prospects.
  • HP Service Manager has a very basic user interface that fails to take advantage of modern design methodologies.
  • HP Service Manager's data loading and report administration capabilities are marginal.
  • Gartner clients have voiced doubt regarding HP's long-term commitment to software and funding for ITSSM tool enhancements.


With a history dating back to the 1880s, IBM, a publicly traded company, is headquartered in Armonk, New York. IBM has rebranded its Tivoli Service Request Manager offering, while combining it with other products into IBM SmartCloud Control Desk. For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated IBM SmartCloud Control Desk 7.5.
  • The vendor has strong capabilities to sell to its existing customer base across a broad portfolio of offerings.
  • IBM SmartCloud Control Desk offers good self-service and service request management capabilities.
  • SmartCloud Control Desk provides strong intuitive search capabilities, with federated search across all modules and applications for global capabilities.
  • The IT service view visualization feature in IBM SmartCloud Control Desk is differentiated from other vendors through the use of a swim lane diagram showing the relation of the different service layers.
  • IBM SmartCloud Control Desk comes across as complex for organizations looking to simplify their service management needs.
  • The product has weak reporting and dashboarding capabilities that might present administration difficulties for organizations.
  • IBM SmartCloud Control Desk was new to the market in the first half of 2012, and the market has yet to recognize if it is an improvement over previous products.
  • The product provides robust capabilities for entering information, although the form fields are not very intuitive.


Founded in 1985, LANDesk is a privately held company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vendor offers a variety of client management solutions to help lower the cost of support, with LANDesk Service Desk focusing on the ITSSM tool space. LANDesk Service Desk 7.5 was evaluated for this Magic Quadrant.
  • LANDesk enjoys good customer interaction and engagement, as seen in support and maintenance customer feedback.
  • LANDesk Service Desk supports advanced mobile optimization capabilities, with HTML5-enabled LANDesk Mobile.
  • LANDesk Service Desk workflow is aligned with ITIL best practices.
  • LANDesk Service Desk provides native integration with client management and mobile device management, providing the ability to manage users as endpoints, which plays well to mobile workforces.
  • LANDesk has been unsuccessful at getting in front of ITSSM tool buyers, despite its presence in other areas of the IT organization (i.e., client management, mobile management and security management).
  • LANDesk Service Desk has limited advanced reporting and analytics features, which are necessary to enable decision support.
  • Gartner clients report a lack of documentation for upgrades, and that professional services project management is an issue.
  • LANDesk has demonstrated a limited number of large, global ITSSM tool references, particularly in the SaaS model.


ServiceNow became a publicly traded company in June 2012. Located in San Diego, ServiceNow is the fastest-growing company among the vendors evaluated for this Magic Quadrant, having grown its customer base and annual revenue significantly during the past six years, based on Gartner Market Share reports. For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated ServiceNow's Aspen release.
  • ServiceNow has strong marketing and branding, based on effectively leveraging customer success and innovation, which has enabled the vendor to frequently make Gartner client shortlists during the past 12 months.
  • ServiceNow has easy-to-configure workflows with drag-and-drop functionality for building quick customizations.
  • The vendor makes good use of the underlined platform to build tool functions specific to enhancing IT service support.
  • ServiceNow's social IT management capabilities are ahead of the competition.
  • ServiceNow must demonstrate scalability by expanding its partner ecosystem and infrastructure to meet global demand.
  • The vendor struggles to balance messaging of IT service management offerings versus platform-as-a-service capabilities.
  • ServiceNow's reporting, analytics and dashboarding capabilities are average.
  • The vendor has shown minimal commitment to a perpetual licensing model, and its product is only available on a fixed-name license basis.

Vendors Added or Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor appearing in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. This may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or a change of focus by a vendor.


Because this is a new Magic Quadrant, all the vendors are new.


Because this is a new Magic Quadrant, no vendors were dropped.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

To be included in the 2012 Magic Quadrant for ITSSM tools, at minimum, vendors must offer products that meet all the following criteria:
  • The ITSSM product must include all the following functionality:
    • IT incident management
    • IT problem management
    • IT change management
    • IT release governance
    • IT user self-service
    • IT request management
    • IT knowledge management
    • IT service support analytics and reporting
    • IT SLA management (with regard to incident and service requests)
  • The ITSSM vendor must offer qualifying products licensed in both of the following methods:
    • Software owned, managed and located by organization behind enterprise firewalls
    • Software owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers, and purchased on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription
  • The product must be optimized for usage on a mobile device for the following purposes:
    • Incident update and resolution
    • Authorization approvals
    • Access to reporting/metrics
  • The vendor must have at least $10 million in annual revenue derived from ITSSM products.
  • The vendor must provide 10 qualifying customer references meeting the following criteria:
    • The ITSSM solution must be paid for by the customer and used in a production environment.
    • The customer must be concurrently using five of the following modules: incident management, problem management, change management, release governance, IT user self-service (for knowledge and request management), support analyst/technician collaboration, IT service support analytics, and SLA reporting.
    • The customer must be utilizing more than 100 concurrent licenses or 300 named licenses.
    • References must include examples of both licensing models.
    • References must be located in at least three of the following regions: North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Evaluation Criteria

Ability to Execute

Product/Service: We evaluate the capabilities, quality, usability, integration and feature set of the solution, including the following functions:
  • IT incident management
  • IT problem management
  • IT change management
  • IT release governance
  • IT user self-service
  • IT request management
  • IT knowledge management
  • IT service support analytics and reporting
  • IT SLA management with regard to incident and service requests
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, and Organization): We evaluate the size of the vendor, vendor market share, and vendor financial performance (such as revenue growth and profitability). Analysis reflects the vendor's capability to ensure the continued vitality of its ITSSM tool offering.
Sales Execution/Pricing: We evaluate the vendor's capability to provide global sales that align with its marketing messages. We also evaluated the degree to which the vendor has presence in North America, Europe, the Asia/Pacific region (including Japan) and rest of world. We also evaluated flexibility in licensing models, pricing and packaging, specific to solution portability.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: We evaluate the execution in terms of delivering and upgrading products consistently, in a timely fashion, meeting road map timelines. We also evaluate the vendor's agility in meeting new market demands, and how well the vendor received customer feedback and quickly built it into the product.
Marketing Execution: This is a measure of brand and mind share through client, reference and channel partner feedback. We evaluated the degree to which customers and partners have positive identification with the client management product, and whether the vendor has credibility in this market. We also used search hits on for the vendor and product as a measure of brand recognition and market awareness.
Customer Experience: We evaluate the vendor's reputation in the market, based on customers' feedback regarding their experience in working with the vendor, whether they were glad they chose the vendor's product and whether they planned to continue working with the vendor.
Table 1. Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criteria
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization)
Sales Execution/Pricing
Market Responsiveness and Track Record
Marketing Execution
Customer Experience
No Rating
Source: Gartner (August 2012)

Completeness of Vision

Market Understanding: This criterion evaluates vendor capabilities against future market requirements. The market requirements map to the market overview discussion above and look for the following functionality:
  • Optimized for mobile device usage for incident update and resolution, authorization approvals, and access to reporting and metrics
  • End-to-end visualization of hierarchical and peer-to-peer relationships of configuration items that deliver IT services
  • Social IT management capabilities that enable improved collaboration, generate ideas and share best practices
  • Integrated suite in conjunction with a larger, integrated ITSM vision
  • Advanced analytics capabilities that IT service support organizations can leverage to correlate service support performance with business outcomes
Marketing Strategy: We evaluate the vendor's capability to deliver a clear and differentiated message that maps to current and future market demands, and, most importantly, the vendor's commitment to the ITSSM tool market through its website, advertising programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: We evaluate the vendor's approach to selling ITSSM tools to IT organizations and MSPs. We also evaluate the vendor's ability to sell in the appropriate distribution channels, including:
  • Direct sales
  • Indirect sales
Offering (Product) Strategy: We evaluate product usability, ease of use of out-of-the-box best practices and workflow, and ease of integration with other management tools, as related to their importance in meeting buyer needs. We also evaluated the breadth of the ITSSM tool offering, and the depth of functionality within each module, specifically looking at the following features of the solutions:
  • Out-of-the-box best practices
  • Ease of use (graphical user interface, upgrade, configuration, process configuration)
  • Ease of integration with infrastructure components
Business Model: We evaluate whether the vendor continuously manages a well-balanced business case that demonstrates appropriate funding and alignment of staffing resources to succeed in this market.
Innovation: This criterion includes product leadership and the ability to deliver ITSSM tool features and functions that distinguish the vendor from its competitors. Specific considerations include resources available for R&D and the innovation process.
Geographic Strategy: We evaluate the vendor's ability to meet the sales and support requirements of IT organizations worldwide. This includes the vendor's strategy to penetrate emerging markets. We evaluate the vendor's strategy in the following potential markets:
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia (including Japan)
  • Middle East
  • Africa
  • Australia
  • Emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China [BRIC])
Table 2. Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criteria
Market Understanding
Marketing Strategy
Sales Strategy
Offering (Product) Strategy
Business Model
Vertical/Industry Strategy
No Rating
Geographic Strategy
Source: Gartner (August 2012)

Quadrant Descriptions


Positioning in the Leaders quadrant is the result of successful Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute criteria. With respect to the ITSSM tools Magic Quadrant, no vendor met the criteria this year to show they are Leaders in this evolving market.


Challengers are defined by keen capability in Ability to Execute criteria; however, they do not yet have the Completeness of Vision required to become Leaders in this market. The ITSSM tool market takes a close look at the evolution of the functional requirements of IT service desk tools, with an emphasis on providing tools that will meet the current and future needs of maturing organizations. Additionally, vendors must be able to support their ITSSM tool offerings throughout the globe and ensure that they are innovative in their product offerings. Challengers have shown the ability to provide tools with the basic required feature sets, but have yet to break through to providing products that truly encompass what the ITSSM tool market is about.


There were no vendors placed in the Visionaries quadrant this year.

Niche Players

Niche Players can be good choices. They may have strengths in particular areas, but don't have the focus to invest in all the requirements we evaluate for Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute criteria. Organizations that are looking for products with specific strengths within one or more of the ITSSM tool target functional requirements may find that Niche Players provide precisely what they require. Niche Players may not have the global reach of other vendors, but often focus their efforts within a few regions, which may provide adequate support, depending on an organization's needs.


While the ITSSM tool market is new, ITSSM functions have been available as disjointed tools for decades. We are now seeing the functions come together in integrated products that address ITSSM functionality from the combined perspective of people, process and tooling. ITSSM tools are focused on organizations with an infrastructure and operations (I&O) maturity of Level 3 or better, but most organizations are still just above a Level 2, with little progress toward improving.1 Because of the number of organizations pushing to improve their maturity to a Level 3, ITSSM tools must be looked at with a broad perspective for how they, in conjunction with an overall improvement program, can assist the I&O organization in achieving higher levels of maturity and getting closer to showing business value to end users.
Organizations should not merely choose from vendors based on their proximity to the Leaders quadrant; they should create a list of criteria that describes their needs, then select from vendors that best meet those requirements. Organizations should use a vendor that is focused on this market and can meet their needs for at least the next five years. They should focus on skills, training, process and proper product implementation, because these factors will influence a product experience more than the specific functional capabilities. Additionally, organizations should select a vendor that can truly aid the I&O organization in reaching its maturation goals.

Market Overview

The ITSSM tool market is focused on IT service support, with a tighter integration of functions that correlate with the activities of the broader IT support organization. ITSSM tools leverage a business view of the IT services, enabling the IT support organization to quickly resolve or escalate issues and problems, improve root cause isolation, and provide higher levels of business user satisfaction. Using this business view, IT support organizations manage incidents, problems and service requests throughout their life cycles at a more efficient and effective rate. ITSSM tools enable organizations to automate the workflow of I&O processes familiar to frameworks such as ITIL. Example processes included within the ITSSM tools are incident, problem, change, release governance and request management. ITSSM tools provide modules that enable business end users to find knowledge to support/resolve their computing-related issues or request an IT service via an IT self-service module.
Although this market enables vendors to continue to develop their tools to meet the changing needs of the I&O organization, it is imperative that organizations purchase tools that closely match their current maturity levels and requirements, or make selections based on their strategic plans. Understanding the current maturity level is imperative in the selection process, and Gartner's ITScore for I&O (ITSIO) can also help (see "ITScore for Infrastructure and Operations").
With more than 80 vendors providing IT service desk tools (see "The 2011 IT Service Desk Market Landscape") to assist the I&O organization in supporting business users, clarity on the included functionality of the tools is necessary.
The three main functional groups of tools are:
  • IT help desk
  • IT service desk
The IT service desk function continues to grow and mature, resulting in the ITSSM tools market's emergence. Tools functionality has been built on top of existing toolsets over time (see "Introducing the IT Service Support Management Tools Market"). However, in the ITSSM tool market, product selection criteria is more focused on enabling the tool to evolve to keep pace with new technology and user demands. In addition to the usual IT service desk criteria, the ITSSM tools will focus on how the various features of tools integrate from the perspective of people, process and technology, with a specialized focus on:
  • Optimization for mobile device usage for incident update and resolution, authorization approvals, and access to reporting and metrics
  • End-to-end visualization of hierarchical and peer-to-peer relationships of configuration items that deliver IT services
  • Social IT management capabilities that enable improved collaboration, generate ideas and share best practices
  • Integrated suite in conjunction with a larger, integrated IT service management vision
  • Advanced analytics capabilities that IT service support organizations can leverage to correlate service support performance with business outcomes


1 As of January 2012, the average I&O maturity level in ITSIO is 2.35 (see "Infrastructure & Operations Maturity: How Do You Compare?"), the same as it was in January 2011; furthermore, the distribution by level remains virtually unchanged (see "IT Infrastructure and Operations: Still Immature After All These Years"). This is a particularly disheartening conclusion, because the sample size is reasonably large and is a good representation of Gartner clients.


Ability to Execute

Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word-of-mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.

Completeness of Vision

Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.