By Michael Gomez, Gartner
Are some of your enterprise technology assets getting a little long in the tooth? If you think so, how do you actually know? All IT product and services have a finite life. But few enterprises know when to retire their IT assets, according to Gartner analyst Brian Gammage, yesterday’s session on “Introducing Gartner’s Market Clock: Rebalancing IT Priorities.”
Gartner has developed an IT Market Clock, a new research decision framework, to meet this need by providing a life cycle view of IT assets. The Market Clock uses a clock-face metaphor to represent market time. Each asset class on the market clock represents a technology product or service category.
Assets start at 0 and move clockwise around to 12 o’clock. The clock face has four quarters, each representing one phase of IT market life and each suggesting how IT leaders should respond:
- Customized – the product or service has little or no competition. Focus on the advantages that such assets deliver because they can help you best differentiate your enterprise.
- Mass-customized – other providers respond to demand and enter the market, and standardization arrives. Use the growing market power to expand supplier choice and reduce costs.
- Commoditized – buyers can easily switch between alternative sources. Seek to minimize costs and shift resources elsewhere.
- ‘Disfavored’ – supplier options diminish, skills dry up and operating costs rise. Make plans to retire, dispose of and replace the product or service before costs rise.
In explaining the Market Clock, Mr. Gammage said, “You know when your car is telling you it will be cheaper to replace it than to keep on repairing it. But few organizations can take such a view on their critical IT systems.”
Mr. Gammage urged attendees to map their IT assets to the IT Market Clock phases, focus on the advantage and retirement/replacement phases, and commit fewer resources to commoditized assets.
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