Gartner Highlights Cool Vendors to Watch in 2012

Cloud, social, mobile and information are the four key IT forces — alongside the continued impact of consumerization — that are combining to produce a ‘nexus’ in which ‘Cool Vendors’ will operate, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner’s 2012 Cool Vendors research series identifies the innovative companies, products and services that will shape business and consumer strategies in the future. Cool vendors are minor software vendors that nonetheless deserve some attention and recognition for the pioneering work they are doing, according to research institute Gartner.

This year Gartner has profiled more than 320 Cool Vendors, which offer innovations relating to data analysis and management, marketing, cloud services brokerage, people-centered computing, software infrastructure, consulting, outsourcing, and telecom operations management, as well as other markets. By definition, Cool Vendors are small vendors that offer innovative products or services. The innovation may be in how the product works or in what can be accomplished by those using the product or service.

Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner Fellow, said:

The four forces, along with consumerization, have essentially set the stage for a next generation of capabilities. Combining the ideas of service delivery, consumer technologies, collaboration and massive information is advancing the idea of business success being built on customer outcomes. Cloud computing provides the delivery of new capabilities, while social collaboration is expanding the way in which people interact with one another and businesses.

With cloud computing, Gartner has found that organizations across many vertical sectors share the sense of urgency that companies have to institute a strategy for cloud computing that is viable and near term. However, beyond corporate strategies, technology strategies are also being affected by cloud computing, as well with organizations facing choices such as platform middleware, cloud brokerage, or management and governance.

The velocity and variety of information is on the rise, so the ability to capture, sort, analyze or capitalize on that information must grow. It is becoming clear that data today is not the same as data in the past. It is less static, more real-time, more varied, unstructured and massive. The opportunity is to dive in, and find a way to discover patterns that will help a business expand.

Daryl Plummer said:

The four converging IT forces will be critical to the success of businesses as the 21st century advances. Cool Vendors point the way to the innovations, which will allow this nexus of forces to be tamed before it drops many companies into chaos. By definition, Cool Vendors are small vendors that are offering innovative products or services. The innovation may be in how the product works or in what can be accomplished by those using the product or service.

Additional information is available in the Special Report Cool Vendors 2012: The Nexus Alters Business and Consumer Strategies on Gartner’s website.

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