Gartner Fraud and the Pay to Play Scam

I can’t stand magic boxes and made up quadrants.   This nonsense started with the BCG back in the 1970s, with their ‘dog’, ‘star’, ‘cash cow’ dogma and theology.  Change a few variables, massage an input and presto, the dog becomes the star.  Data fraud most of it.  Magic boxes are used by consultancies to sell their services.  They are positioned as ‘first class’ insights into ‘top technologies’ and solutions.  They are in the main, a waste of time and ink.  

Solutions must match business requirements including utility, costs, ease of use, customization, and support.  Many smaller firms are better able and positioned to offer IT solutions than larger integrated firms, but they are doomed to oblivion by the likes of Gartner and the general group think within IT purchasing.  Big IT firms are famous for proclaiming that a certain technology set is ‘proven and reliable’, then promptly proving that it does not work in production.  Likewise large integrated IT firms are proficient in stating that a project will cost ‘only’ Y amount; then locking the client in and promptly increasing their fees by 10 or 20 times * Y.  

The reality of IT is that there are many good IT solutions and options which are more palatable for firms, than simply hiring an over-priced firm from the magic-box analysis.

Gartner is a Pay to Play system. Pay them enough and yes your firm will be a leader in a magic box and that will accrue to your firm millions in revenues….a good investment? Why anyone takes Gartner seriously is puzzling. As reliable as the MSM.

A good article on the Gartner scam.

“Gartner Group released a bombshell on the Business Intelligence industry. It bumped six of the nine companies, that were “leaders” on last years Magic Quadrant, down to visionary or worse. The biggest surprise was to see that Oracle got booted clear off the chart, which prompted at least one Oracle employee to declare that “Gartner Group doesn’t matter”. That assertion inspired me to write this blog.

There are many of us in the software industry that view the Gartner Group as more than a bit of a fraud, but to suggest that they don’t matter is just foolish. They wield far more influence than they deserve.

Not making it on to the Gartner Magic Quadrant is a very big deal for a software company. That is why software companies pay ridiculous amounts of money to get on (and stay on) the Quadrant. And the fact that Gartner Group accepts money from the companies that are being evaluated, makes their independence very much open to question. And yet, even people like me, who have serious doubts about Gartner’s legitimacy are influenced by the Magic Quadrant more than we would like to admit.

To start with, many buyers use the Gartner Magic Quadrant as a starting point from which to make a short list of the software companies to be considered. It seems unlikely that Oracle won’t be invited to present as a result of their not making it onto Gartner’s Quadrant, but for many start ups, not making the quadrant effectively condemns them to obscurity.

Even if a buyer adds an “unknown” start up to the list of contenders, actually investing precious resources in a software that isn’t on at least one analyst’s hot list, represents a huge political gamble that many executives would prefer not to take.  But even decision makers that have no such concerns, are not free from Gartner’s influence.

The real power of the Gartner Group is the illusion of what the behavioural psychologist Robert Cialdini calls “social proof”, which plays to our subconscious need to conform with the crowd. In his book, “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion”, Cialdini gives an example of this that totally captures the essence of Gartner’s power; Canned Laughter.”

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