Hype Cycles, Gartner, and Spend Management

European Leaders Network (registration required) posted an article late last week that highlighted some of the findings from a research Gartner Hype Cycle study that examined dozens of SaaS enterprise application areas, including procurement and sourcing software. For those that don't know Gartner's hype cycle, the analyst firm has used the graphical model for years to represent the growth path of emerging technologies, from infancy to maturity.

As Gartner defines it, "procurement transaction management solutions," essentially second generation eProcurement capabilities from vendors such as Ariba, Ketera, Oracle, and SAP, are in the "early stages of maturity with a market penetration of less than one percent" of their addressable audience. From an adoption standpoint, contract management is similarly low, while e-sourcing, in contrast, is in the "early mainstream stage of maturity with 20 to 50 percent" market penetration. European Leaders quotes Gartner in the study noting that "Procurement teams should adopt e-sourcing as the standard mechanism for managing the RFx process across all their procurement spending that is capable of being tendered." That is, of course, except their analyst and research spend, which is clearly in the "partner" quadrant ...

Gartners labels its catch-all for online marketplace / exchanges concept as "Business Process Hubs" which are in the "adolescent" phase of adoption, with one-to-five percent market penetration, while supply chain planning applications are in a similar adoption boat. While I've not yet read the full study, I can say without hesitation that I’m happy Gartner is once again taking a closer look at the sector. Interestingly, Andrew White and Andy Kyte are both listed as authors of the report, but Debbie Wilson is not. I suspect Debbie is still coming up to speed, as I've not read anything penned by her since she was assimilated into the Gartner Borg earlier this summer. Or maybe her first pieces have only made it halfway or so through the dozens of checkpoints and sign-offs necessary to see the light in Gartner's universe.

Jason Busch

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