7 Tips to Make Sense of the Gartner IAM Magic Quadrant

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The world of Identity and Access Management (IAM) is not just about selecting a vendor – it’s about selecting the right vendor. In a rapidly evolving sector, making informed decisions is critical for your business to stay secure and efficient.

With its long-standing reputation in tech research, Gartner has led the way in offering crucial insights into this domain. A telling projection is that by 2026, 90% of organizations will primarily rely on identity threat detection tools – a jump from less than 20% today. This shift underscores the criticality of understanding the IAM vendor landscape and making informed choices.

What is the Gartner IAM Magic Quadrant and What Does it Mean?

The Gartner IAM (Identity and Access Management) Magic Quadrant is a research methodology that presents a graphical representation of a market’s direction, maturity, and participants. It offers an analysis of technology providers in the IAM domain, focusing on their ability to deliver and the completeness of their vision.

The IAM Magic Quadrant evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the most significant providers in the marketplace. It offers custom category weighting, showcasing the evolution of the vendor space over time. Furthermore, it incorporates user reviews to provide a comprehensive understanding of each vendor, ensuring a cap of twenty vendors to maintain the quality and significance of its insights. Getting included in the Magic Quadrant means getting exclusive approval from Gartner, which proves to your customers that you are an exceptional vendor. 

The Four Quadrants:

1. Challengers

Challenger providers have a good capability to execute but may not have a fully realized vision. They are solid and stable, often having a large market presence, but may lack innovative features or forward-looking strategies.

2. Leaders

Leader vendors excel in both their ability to execute and the completeness of their vision. They are often the dominant players, demonstrating a clear understanding of market needs and exhibiting robust performance through a comprehensive range of products.

Rezonate integrates with a Magic Quadrant Leader, Okta, to help detect risks and threats across your Okta infrastructure through least privilege best practices and auto-remediation. No matter how big a vendor’s reputation is, it’s always essential to consider solutions like Rezonate that continuously monitor your systems and offer real-time threat protection.

3. Niche Players

Niche players focus on a specific segment or have a limited innovation capability beyond their niche. They may excel in their specialized domain but not offer a broad suite of solutions or expansive growth strategies.

Niche Players


4. Visionaries

Visionaries are companies that showcase a strong ability to envision future market trends and plan accordingly, even if they might currently lack execution capability. They are innovative and forward-thinking, often introducing new features and capabilities ahead of the market.

What are the Goals of the Magic Quadrant?

The Gartner IAM Magic Quadrant is designed to help you navigate the often intricate landscape of IAM vendors. Its primary goals and benefits include:

Informed Decision Making

The Magic Quadrant serves as a guide for businesses to choose the right vendor, ensuring they evade the costly repercussions of a suboptimal decision. With a comprehensive analysis of each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses, businesses can make choices that align with their specific needs and objectives.

Optimized Expenditure

The Magic Quadrant is pivotal in financial planning as it benchmarks vendor pricing against the market. This means businesses can show if they are getting value for money or if they can achieve the same or better outcomes at a more competitive price point.

Minimized Complexity and Risk

One of the unsung advantages of the Magic Quadrant is its analysis of contract terms and conditions. By doing so, Gartner helps shield businesses from unforeseen costs and potential pitfalls, ensuring a smoother engagement with vendors and a more predictable budgetary landscape.

In effect, the Magic Quadrant is a strategic compass, guiding businesses toward vendors that meet their immediate needs and align with their long-term goals while ensuring cost-effectiveness and reduced risks.

7 Tips to Make Sense of the Gartner IAM Magic Quadrant

Navigating the Gartner IAM Magic Quadrant can initially seem daunting, given its comprehensive analysis of vendors. However, understanding its methodology and nuances can help both IAM vendors aiming for a spot in the Quadrant and businesses seeking the best solution. Here’s a breakdown of seven critical sections of the report:

1. Market Definition/Description

Understanding the IAM market as defined by Gartner is crucial:

“Gartner defines access management (AM) as tools that establish, enforce and manage journey-time access controls to cloud, modern standards-based web and legacy web applications.”

For example, Gartner-approved capabilities provided by AM tools could include:

  • API access control
  • User authentication (e.g. least privilege and zero trust principles)
  • Advanced lifecycle management capabilities
  • Journey-time orchestration in the context of access management
  • Internal access administration (e.g. user onboarding and provisioning)
  • Reporting for compliance purposes

Gartner’s market definition ensures businesses are comparing vendors catering to the same market segment. When you align your vendor evaluations with Gartner’s definition, you’re better poised to select a solution that truly fits your needs. On the other hand, vendors should streamline their offerings to fit within this defined market. By doing so, they enhance their visibility and relevance in the Quadrant.

Caption: This graph shows where the top vendors lie in the four quadrants. Source

2. Inclusion Criteria

The inclusion criteria are akin to the gatekeepers of the Magic Quadrant. They stipulate the fundamental requirements a vendor must meet to be considered. For businesses like yours, this gives you confidence that every vendor in the Quadrant has already met a baseline of quality and capability. Vendors aiming for a spot should meticulously tailor their pitches and presentations to highlight how they meet or surpass these criteria.

3. Exclusion Criteria

While the inclusion criteria set the stage, the exclusion criteria provide a reality check. Knowing who didn’t make the cut – and why – can offer you clarity on Gartner’s stringent standards. In contrast, vendors should steer clear of pitfalls that lead to exclusion. Avoiding exclusionary factors is paramount, whether this means ensuring a significant market presence or ramping up core IAM capabilities.

4. Evaluation Criteria Part 1 | Ability to Execute

A vendor’s operational prowess comes to the forefront with their ability to execute, encompassing everything from product quality to overall business health. For businesses, the Magic Quadrant offers a peek into a vendor’s operational strengths and potential longevity in the market. Vendors can bolster their position by relentlessly improving product quality, fortifying their financial health, and refining their customer service approach.

Table 1: Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation CriteriaWeighting
Product or ServiceHigh
Overall ViabilityMedium
Sales Execution/PricingHigh
Market Responsiveness/RecordHigh
Marketing ExecutionMedium
Customer ExperienceHigh
As of August 2022

Source: Gartner (November 2022)

5. Evaluation Criteria Part 2 | Completeness of Vision

A vendor’s foresight is illuminated through their completeness of vision. Businesses can glean insights into whether a vendor is merely keeping pace or truly pioneering the future of IAM using the Magic Quadrant. This criterion serves as a testament to a vendor’s innovation and adaptability. Vendors can impress Gartner by immersing themselves in continuous market research, aligning their strategies with emerging trends, and remaining receptive to user feedback.

Table 2: Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation CriteriaWeighting
Market UnderstandingHigh
Marketing StrategyMedium
Sales StrategyLow
Offering (Product) StrategyHigh
Business ModelMedium
Vertical/Industry StrategyLow
Geographic StrategyHigh
As of August 2022

Source: Gartner (November 2022)

6. Market Overview

The IAM market is in constant flux, marked by innovations, challenges, and shifts highlighted in the Magic Quadrant report. The market overview section gives businesses a panoramic view of IAM industry activity, helping you align with prevailing best practices and be attuned to upcoming changes. Vendors can carve out a competitive edge by staying in sync with market movements and preemptively addressing emerging needs in their product offerings.

7. User Reviews

In an age of information overload, authentic user reviews stand out. They offer businesses a raw, unfiltered view of a vendor’s offerings, echoing the voice of real-world users. Gartner’s rigorous process ensures these reviews are comprehensive and trustworthy. Vendors can enhance their Quadrant positioning by nurturing customer relationships, promptly addressing concerns, and cultivating an ecosystem where satisfied users are advocates.

Navigate the IAM Landscape With a Gartner-approved Vendor

The Gartner IAM Magic Quadrant provides you with a clear compass to navigate the IAM vendor space. By breaking down the market, evaluating vendors meticulously, and incorporating valuable user reviews, it offers companies like yours a robust tool to make strategic decisions in the realm of Identity and Access Management.

But there’s more to the IAM industry than the Magic Quadrant report. Recognized as a Cool Vendor in the 2023 Gartner Cool Vendors Report in Identity-First Security, Rezonate is making waves with our forward-thinking approach. Our commitment to identity-centric security tackles the pressing challenges of compromised identities and rising breach costs. Explore Rezonate’s platform or request a demo to see firsthand how identity-first security can redefine your protection strategy.

Rezonate was recognized as a 2023 Gartner® Cool Vendor™ in Identity-First Security.  Learn More.

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