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Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CPM: Reading between the Lines

Gartner recently released its Magic Quadrants for Corporate Performance Management. Certainly, these reports are useful for anyone considering the selection of a corporate performance management solution. However, to get full value from the information, you need to “read between the lines” of the report and see beyond the Magic Quadrants graphics.

In this blog post, I will give you some important context for the reports and address a few of the common misconceptions many have about the report findings. You’ll find more background information in our just-published e-book, Gartner Cloud CPM Magic Quadrants: Decoding Misconceptions and Maximizing Decision-Making Power. You’ll also find links to the full reports at the end of this post.

2016: Apples to Oranges
In 2016, Gartner split its coverage of CPM into two separate reports. One report focused on financial corporate performance management (FCPM); the other on strategic corporate performance management (SCPM). The goal of this change was to group together solutions targeting similar audiences in order for easier comparison. However, the end result is that many more vendors were included in the 2016 analysis, many of which had specialized functionality but not necessarily broad CPM capabilities. Consider that Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for CPM covered 17 vendors. Its 2016 Magic Quadrants covered a total of 26 vendors. Gartner’s decision to separate out strategic from financial CPM makes apples-to-apples comparisons of fully complete CPM solutions even tougher than before.

2017: Cloud, Cloud, Cloud
2017 brought another significant change to Gartner’s Magic Quadrants. This year, the Magic Quadrant reports covered only those CPM vendors with cloud solutions. Because of this change, traditional market leaders such as SAP were excluded from coverage while the status of cloud-only vendors was significantly elevated. In fact, with the exception of Oracle, no vendor that offers both on-premise and cloud CPM is represented as a leader in the CPM Magic Quadrants and EVERY cloud-only vendor is ranked as a leader. Certainly maturity, security, scalability, ease of use and cloud services are all important criteria in evaluating a cloud CPM solution. But it’s important not to assume that all cloud-only vendors excel in these areas. In fact, Gartner’s CPM Critical Capabilities data shows that cloud-only vendors often score below average on criteria such as ease of implementation, ease of use, and vendor satisfaction.




Cloud Without Compromise…on Your Schedule
Certainly we at CCH Tagetik are proponents of cloud-deployed solutions, and the vast majority of our new customers are opting to take advantage of the benefits that come with cloud deployment. But, we also recognize that some organizations are not there yet for a variety of reasons. Gartner’s own strategic assumptions project that only 60% of Top 1000 organizations and 25% of smaller organizations will be using cloud FCPM solutions by 2020.

If your organization is ready for cloud, make the move now; there is no reason to wait. But if you’re not, there is no reason to wait to modernize your CPM solution. Moving to an updated, on-premise solution can deliver significant benefits. But be aware that some vendors, most notably SAP and Oracle, are discontinuing mainstream maintenance and enhancements for their on-premise solutions, even though their new cloud solutions are not nearly as functionally rich or scalable. If you are going to stay on-premise, make sure your vendor has a clear roadmap and an easy, non-disruptive migration path to the cloud. Your vendor should not force your hand for this major move. If they do, consider looking at other options.

Common Misconceptions
The above are examples of issues requiring “reading between the lines” of Gartner’s reports. To further help you put the research into context, we’ve documented eight common misconceptions in our recently published e-book. I’ll highlight two of them here.

One of the most common misconceptions is that only those vendors in the leader quadrant merit consideration. It’s important to recognize that Gartner weighs many criteria when evaluating vendors, some of which have no bearing on the solution itself. These include a vendor’s market share and its size and growth.

Therefore, a vendor can be designated as a leader because of strong marketing and sales execution. Some leaders are strong in one or two areas of CPM, but have very little functionality in others. Gartner is very transparent about the fact that being a leader does not equate to having the best solution. That’s why it is important to identify the “must-have” capabilities you need in a solution – for now and in the future – and evaluate vendors accordingly.

It is also important to consider the complexity and scale of what you need to accomplish. Some solutions are designed to meet standard business requirements, but are not capable of meeting complex business needs. Others may be overkill for a small company looking for a “quick and dirty” implementation. The Magic Quadrant ratings do not provide an easy way for you to differentiate between vendors that focus on either end of this spectrum. Therefore, you should carefully study the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor -- regardless of its Magic Quadrant positioning -- and compare the information to your organization’s own requirements.

Do you want more info?

DOWNLOAD Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant



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