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How to Use Gartner’s Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities for Identity Management


Gartner is one of the biggest voices in enterprise technology— they’re generally the first source consulted when it comes to evaluating enterprise IT solutions, and enterprise Identity Management is no exception. But while the Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for IGA and IDaaS are great resources for finding out who the top enterprise Identity Management contenders are, they don’t give a particularly in-depth analysis behind what each solution offers and how they perform across different industries.

There are a few other Gartner resources out there that act as companions to the Magic Quadrant, one of them being the Critical Capabilities for IGA. The Gartner Critical Capabilities reports are relatively new, but they offer a more nuanced look at where these solutions excel and where some fall out of contention.

While the Magic quadrant is great for identifying which vendor is on top in terms of market share and generalized capabilities, the Critical Capabilities Report give a more definitive take on who’s on top consistently and why they are there.

Gartner defines Critical capabilities as “attributes that differentiate products/services in a class in terms of their quality and performance. For IGA, that means identity life cycle, entitlements management, access requests, workflow, policy management, access certification, fulfillment, password management, role management, auditing, analytics, reporting and dashboards, ease of deployments, scalability and performance and use cases (enterprise, SMB, governance-focused, automation-focused).

Gartner rates each vendor’s product or service on a five-point (five points being best) scale in terms of how well it delivers each capability.

Critical Capabilities reports include comparison graphs for each use case, along with in-depth descriptions of each solution based on the various points of comparison.

Additionally, buyers looking for a straight forward, side-by-side look at what each solution provides should check out the new 2017 Solutions Review IAM Buyer’s Guide to get a little more background information on today’s top 28 IAM providers.

I advise starting with the Magic Quadrant to make a shortlist of the top-ranked solutions in mind, then using the Solutions Review Buyer’s Guide to figure out which IAM components each solution provides and what key features they offer. From there, decide which capabilities are important to you and consult the Critical Capabilities Report to eliminate solutions that don’t have the capabilities you need.

Together, these three documents can cut a lot of time and effort out of the decision-making process, letting buyers skip tedious internet searches and research on solutions that will never meet their needs.

You can read the Gartner 2018 Identity Governance and Administration Magic Quadrant Report here. 

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And watch this for the 10 Best Resources for Evaluating IAM solutions:

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