Customer Service & Support Articles

Magic Quadrant for IT Service Desk Software

by Christophe Primault
Published on 22 December 2010

Download PDF ↓ Report Date: November 2010 Author: Gartner Abstract :Process re-engineering, budget reductions and higher integration of IT support in the overall ITSM offerings has encouraged IT organizations to streamline IT service and support, not just within the IT service desk, but across the entire IT organization.

The IT service desk market continues to play a significant role in the delivery of IT services to the corporate enterprise. Its fundamental role continues to incrementally grow, beyond the IT help desk role of the past, to a primary hub in the IT organizations ability to define, deliver, manage and report on the IT organizations service support delivery.

Therefore, the scope of the IT service desk market continues to be shaped by the expanded definition of IT service desk, which not only manages core incident, knowledge, self-service and problem management, but also includes a large suite of tools, including change, service request, and SLA management. In addition, it integrates with other ITSM tools, including configuration management (CMDB or discovery repository), asset, service catalog and event management. There has been little difference in the trends and expectation of IT service desk customers in 2010, compared with previous years. We have seen a significant shift in the licensing model requirements of customers from the traditional on-premises model to software as a service (SaaS); however, market expectations and behaviors from customers and prospects have remained largely similar to the previous 12 to 24 months. IT organizations continue to wrestle with missing functional needs, poorly developed tool acquisition business cases, ongoing process maturity re-engineering initiatives, and a primary focus on reducing the cost of IT service support delivery. Quality of service clearly is of interest; however, it continues to take a back seat to cost reduction interests.

Gartner finds that it is the absence of IT service quality within IT organizations that pushes IT organizations to seek a new tool every four to five years as a perceived solution to the service quality woes. Meanwhile, the IT service desk vendor landscape continues to expand, most notably with the entrance of Microsoft. The vast array of 80+ IT service desk vendors has become an impossible landscape for IT organizations to navigate (see "The 2010 IT Service Desk Market Landscape"). The minor decline in revenue growth in 2009 can certainly be linked with overall economic conditions yielding fewer buying decisions. Additionally, sales cycles continue to grow longer as IT organizations and business stakeholders include the IT service desk with large ITSM tool initiatives. In addition to the economic downturn and longer sale cycles, vendors struggle for new business in a market crowded with vendor options, where functional differentiation is diminishing. Customers continuing attention to cost control has caused vendors to focus greater attention on the pricing and packaging of solutions. This focus by vendors on improving and expanding pricing and packaging solutions has led to little innovation in core features, functionality and customer usage of the tools, which is the primary reason none of the vendors were in the Visionaries quadrant. To truly compare vendors in context to the market dynamics, there are some key nuances in 2009 and early 2010 which help frame this Magic Quadrants strategic value and positioning of the vendors.

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