Rubrik CEO Criticism of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Raises Questions on Just How Objective They Are.

At DSA, we have long questioned just how objective the Gartner Magic Quadrants (MQ) are. We have no doubt they are influential in swaying technology buyers decisions, but that in itself is the problem. The power of the MQs is so much that companies that can afford to, spend large money on analysts relations. That money can only be justified if it is shown to influence analysts – there’s the rub!

Back in 2017, one particular Magic Quadrant (The SSD MQ)  baffled us to the point we questioned it in this article -

So that brings us to the recently published 2019 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions.  As usual with these quadrants, there is no real surprise about who features. It’s the usual suspects with no surprises, but surprising omissions such as StorageCraft, being completely overlooked. So nothing that exciting to report, with anyone looking for some of the emerging new backup companies having to search outside the Gartner MQ for inspiration.

Bipul Sinha - Co-Founder & CEO, Rubrik

The real story is about Rubrik. To put it mildly, Rubrik’s Co-Founder & CEO Bipul Sinha is not happy and questions how Objective this MQ is. You can read Bipul’s blog in full here. In short, Rubrik feels that despite spending a lot of time correcting factual inaccuracies in Gartners’ assessment of Rubrik’s capabilities, the analyst responsible misrepresented the facts. Bipul’s major criticism is how despite growing their business five times in two years since the last MQ, and now being of a size similar to the quadrant leaders, Gartner has not changed the “ability to execute” rating at all.

Bipul goes further and points out that the analyst responsible for the MQ had a clear conflict of interest which he did not declare. Basically, Bipul feels the analyst in question was disgruntled because he had been in a group of five Gartner Analysts that wanted to join Rubrik, the other four secured positions with the company, but the analyst in question was not offered a role.

The specifics of the story are a little messy. When a disagreement like this occurs, there are usually three sides to the story, in this case, Rubrik’s side, The Analyst’s Side and somewhere in the middle “the truth”.  However for us at DSA, it’s the broader issue rather than the specifics of this case which are worth highlighting.

The Gartner MQ’s are very influential; many large enterprises will not entertain purchasing a technology that does not feature on the relevant MQ. This makes the stakes high, and when stakes are high objectivity can be compromised. It’s an ironic circle because the value is meant to be in giving an untarnished objective assessment of technology offerings in a given market. If that is in question, then surely by default so must the value of the MQs themselves.

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