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Gartner retires the IT Service Desk MQ

If you were one of the larger vendors in the IT service desk space, you’d be very busy about this time of year preparing a written response to Gartner’s magic quadrant questionnaire. So it is with mixed feelings that I personally reflect upon the MQ’s retirement. Gartner is not alone here. Forrester’s last ranking of this space (in a Wave) was done in 2008.


We don’t have rights to redistribute the short research note (G00212445, 11 April 2011,, but if you have access to Gartner materials, I would suggest reading it.


One of the themes associated with the retirement is the large number of vendors and the challenge in evaluating the relevant players - fair enough here. One of the other retirement themes is the maturity and commoditization of the market. This one is interesting as I frequently get questions about this myself, and I submit that this is most germane concerning the classic help desk areas associated with incident management. I totally agree from this perspective. When you look at adoption of knowledge management, maturity of problem management, maturity of change management, dramatic raise in the interest of self-service request management (and service catalogs), and automation of common tasks, then the IT service desk market is much more wide open. Gartner also addresses this point saying that their clients are increasingly looking at the service desk in a broader ITSM context. HP totally supports this point of view.


Gartner says that the service desk should be evaluated in combination with configuration management, service catalog, asset management, release management, PPM (project and portfolio management), and PC/client configuration tools. Again, I totally agree here and would extend this list to include discovery, automation, and again change management. These are all points we’ve been pushing when looking at more integrated, automated, and self-service solutions. When you hear HP speak about change, configuration, and release management (CCRM) or closed loop incident processes (CLIP), this is reflective of our recent solution development efforts – which are frankly in response to what customers ask us for.


If you want to see the 2010 Gartner IT Service Desk MQ, we have this on-line: Gartner Magic Quadrant for the IT Service Desk (0.64MB, PDF). Interestingly, I submit that Gartner did not sufficiently weight HP ITSM solution capabilities when determining the HP score in completeness of vision in the 2010. But, I'll take a cleansing breadth and move on. This was a topic we debated at that time and is now closely related to one of the main reasons for the retirement of this specific MQ.


Regardless, I won’t miss all of the preparation work that went into responding to that questionnaire!




P.S. Hope to see you all at HP Discover


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About the Author
HP IT Service Management Product Marketing team manager. I am also responsible for our end-to-end Change, Configuration, and Release Managem...

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