Gartner Quadrant: Watching an MDM balancing act

Look closely at the latest Gartner quadrant, and you see a picture of a changing market. At first glance, the relevant positioning of all the vendors included in the quadrant hasn’t changed a great deal since 2018 – but when you read into the context the landscape gets more interesting.

At first glance, the relevant positioning of all the vendors included in the quadrant hasn’t changed a great deal since 2018 – with the notable exception of Orchestra Networks, who were acquired by Tibco. It’s largely the same big players dominating the frame as usual – but when you read into the context the landscape gets more interesting.

There’s a definite underlying theme of change – a decisive step towards innovation and advancement. Over the last year or so, it’s been clear that shifting expectations in the MDM industry are pushing demand for emerging technology – such as AI and machine learning – and vendors are trying to adapt fast to keep up with this demand.

As a result, we’re seeing two types of companies in the sector: those who don’t realise new capabilities, and are seen as old and slow moving; and those who have reacted fast and invested all of their resources into this development. Unfortunately, those fast movers are experiencing declining customer satisfaction scores as a result.

One provider in particular stands out as having an impressive vision but is not yet achieving the results it set out to in terms of customer experience. This hints that a visionary product has been brought to market slightly too early – the vision is there, but the implementation needs to catch up.


Abstract Quadrant

Trailblazers vs slow movers

But without trailblazers, the market would stagnate – and it’s very likely that we’ll see those delivery and implementation scores catch up with innovation over the next couple of years, while other providers will develop their vision and technology at pace. At present, the notes in the quadrant suggest a juggling act, with providers struggling to balance their investment in new technology and product with customer satisfaction.

There is also the emergence of disruptive second and third generation MDM solutions, and this is likely to continue in the immediate future. The attitude of these smaller vendors is a healthy addition to a market that is at risk of becoming stale, pressuring those bigger players to take a fresh look at their tools and technique, and explore some of those niche solutions that the disruptors are fulfilling. However, as part of that same ‘balancing act’, it’s likely that following a year or two of disruption, many of those smaller vendors will be acquired, and the quadrant will eventually swing back in favour of the larger providers, with new tools under their belts. 

Filling the integration gap

We’re pleased to see that some of our closest MDM partners have received good results for both customer satisfaction and vision. One notable gap is integration, but as the market is moving increasingly towards a third-party implementation model, this is a core area that Comma can add value to MDM users, making integration seamless with existing data and technology.

Access to third parties was again listed as a weakness throughout the report, and we’re glad to see Gartner continuing to recognise the importance that consultancies play in the MDM market. With third party support from the likes of Comma, vendors and their customers can bridge the gap between the advanced MDM tools on offer and realisation of their full capabilities for the user. It’s particularly crucial with some of the more ‘visionary’ vendors on the Quadrant, as it can make implementing new software – or even more complicated upgrades – more seamless.

Solutions not on the Quadrant

One final point to remember is that while the Gartner Quadrant is a great overview of the core MDM market, it’s not a comprehensive look at all of the data management options available – Gartner even reference this directly at the beginning of the report. MDM is just one solution available to support businesses with their data, and to be included on the Quadrant, vendors have to conform to MDM-specific criteria.

Abstract Quadrant 2
Gartner Master Data Management Mq 2020



For example, there are providers offering PIM solutions that aren’t included here, but are strong contenders for businesses that need more product or application data management. To find the right option for your business, you really need to understand what you want to achieve with your data. It’s another area where getting third party support adds value: at Comma, we can help you from the start to map out your business vision and evaluate how your data can drive that vision.   

If you need help navigating the data management market – or even your own MDM or PIM system – we can help. Call us on +44 1926 911820.

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