Feb 12 2013
Gartner’s decision to retire the Magic Quadrant for workload automation is causing quite a rumble. Debate raged fiercely on social media channels such as LinkedIn’s Workload Automation Professionals and the Enterprise Job Scheduling & Workload Automation groups. But Gartner’s decision is no bad thing. At a time when businesses seek to consolidate, simplify and cut costs, “workload automation” solutions may be too narrow. They only address part of the much larger, Enterprise Process Automation universe that runs businesses today.
Analysts reports – what they do
Analyst reports are published to serve two purposes. First, they evaluate major vendors in competitive markets against a defined set of criteria – while the criteria can be arbitrary, everyone is evaluated equally. Second, they provide insight on vendors to end-users and companies looking to make sound purchasing decisions. . Still, these reports are static and historical. Sometimes they have the potential to mislead if analyzed in isolation or out of context. And, they’re finite – I read a statistic recently that only 30% of what an analyst actually knows is put on paper – so reports leave out the lion’s share of the whole story.
Fingers on the pulse
But don’t get me wrong. Analyst reports are one of the best sources of information available to end users and vendors– if you know how to use them. Analysts’ knowledge of the market is second to none.
The brilliant Milind Govekar and Ronnie Colville (of Gartner, Inc.), as well as Jean-Pierre Garbani and Glen O’Donnell (of Forrester Research), for example – offer a great deal of timely, incisive information. These analysts constantly speak with users and vendors. They know what users want and what vendors are – or should be – selling, and to whom. Their outside-in perspective is crucial. Their opinions help shape and improve solutions.
So why is Gartner only now ending their workload automation Magic Quadrant?
Convergence and consolidation in automation
In step with the market drive towards consolidation, simplification and cost-effectiveness, automation is converging. As a result, “Workload automation” as a term has outgrown its usefulness. In fact, Forrester hasn’t published a workload automation “Wave” for years. Instead, they have been talking about automation convergence. The story now is about bringing IT together—breaking down silos—not reinforcing old paradigms. With this announcement, Gartner is endorsing this—and that it’s the direction the market is going.
Hopefully, Gartner’s decision will start vendors thinking more about what business and IT users really need—holistic automation. We’re looking forward to a big vendor shift away from automation silos towards a more sensible, consolidated, end-to-end approach to Enterprise Process Automation. This will help companies bring together business and IT processes across systems, platforms and geographies. Now that would be magic.