Quadrants can provide a useful visualization of a product’s positioning with respect to its competitors, in lieu of reading through longish narrative evaluations. Traditional analyst quadrants are also controversial, and for good reason.
Most Quadrants are Static
The problem with most quadrants is they are static. This means they fix the position of vendor without taking your context into account. Irrespective of your requirements or your size, you see the same vendor at a specific location in the Quadrant. So two vastly different enterprise customers will see the same set of vendors in top right. That's useful for vendors who pay analyst firms to market themselves, but it's a disadvantage for you.
There's an alternative
Consider a Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) use case.
Enterprise A has requirements for creating a digital property that focuses on Basic Digital Marketing and Online Community use cases. If they used RSG’s RealQuadrant, they would be able to specify these requirements in addition to their preferences for technology, deployment model and various other strategic factors.
This is what they might end up with:
Fig 1: Quadrant for Enterprise A
Now, Enterprise B has a different set of requirements. They want to have a platform that can be used for creating “Content-Enriched Applications” and “Omni-Channel Engagement” use cases. In addition, they have specific requirements for asks in terms of Vendor Professional Services, Viability & Stability and Roadmap. These are 3 of the 10 strategic factors that we evaluate vendors against.
And this is what they might end up with:
Fig 2: Quadrant for Enterprise B with a different set of WCM requirements
Now, as you can see, both quadrants show different positions for the vendors. See for example how Drupal has moved from top right to bottom left. Seems dramatic? I actually doubt it surprises our research customers. We’ve seen how enterprises can have vastly different requirements and even for the same customer can execute use cases that suggest different products or vendors for specific use cases.
So if your requirements are not static, shouldn't your quadrant be dynamic, too? Don’t let analysts tell you what your quadrant should be.
There's no magic involved — you can yourself create your own RealQuadrant here.