Spend Matters Suggests Caution in Reading Gartner's Procurement/Sourcing Comparative Vendor Rankings

Based on our analysis of the research process undertaken by Gartner for its strategic sourcing magic quadrant, a lack of transparency into the overall placement process for the same analysis, a recent presentation that contained numerous inconsistencies / mistakes and a general perception among other analysts, consultants and providers of Gartner's misinterpretation of what certain vendors are capable / not capable of, Spend Matters is urging that readers consider Gartner's comparative vendor recommendations in the procurement and sourcing sector with caution. We believe that the above body of evidence is potentially suggestive of a lack of consistency, rigor and careful attention to detail that is necessary to make conclusive and accurate comparative vendor recommendations and shortlists.

In lieu of using Gartner as a source for accurate information in this sector to develop shortlists of providers, we would encourage Spend Matters readers to consider other sources of information and analysis. These include: Gartner's own AMR Research (overall), Forrester (services procurement, P2P and related areas), TEC, ChainLink Research as well as independent analysts, and especially systems integration / consulting firms with deep implementation experience. In addition, blogs such as Spend Matters, Sourcing Innovation, and Supply Chain Matters can offer a useful perspective on emerging technology trends as well (and some of their authors, including Bob Ferrari of Supply Chain Matters and Michael Lamoureux of Sourcing Innovation, also offer analyst services). Spend Matters also believes that many of the BPO providers are developing a strong perspective of enterprise procurement and sourcing technology, and are therefore capable of offering an informed perspective.

Gartner clients should still consider the firm as a source of information on general sector technology insights within the procurement and sourcing sector and most certainly the broad spectrum of technology research coverage for which they are deservedly well known and respected. But until Gartner begins to show more attention to detail and thoroughness in research processes and client / conference presentation material, Spend Matters suggests that readers who share our perspective should consider other sources of information for comparative vendor rankings and shortlists. This suggestion does not apply to AMR Research clients, a firm owned by Gartner that we continue to believe provides among the most highly researched, accurate and thorough vendor recommendations in the market, especially in the sourcing area for which Gartner (and AMR Research, separately) recently undertook a comparative vendor analysis.

Jason Busch

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