In the latest Gartner ® Magic Quadrant ™ for Enterprise Backup and Recovery, IBM has been placed in the Visionaries quadrant. Last year we were placed in the Challengers quadrant. We believe that being placed as a Visionary is an improvement in our position, as it helps to confirm that our vision and strategy for data resiliency is starting to take hold. Further, we believe the strategy pivot that we made has put IBM in a significantly better position to claim anindustry leading position in this market going forward.
The pivot we made to data resiliency is not a simple maneuver for a company the size of IBM. In the words of Lou Gerstner, IBM’s former Chairman and CEO, "Who says elephants can't dance?" Clearly, not the team that delivered on IBM Storage Defender!
For those following this market closely, you know that the past couple of years has seen relatively little change due to offering maturity and limited growth rates. With respect to the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Enterprise Backup and Recovery, IBM had at one time been positioned as a Leader, but we believe the continued maturation of our portfolio had prevented us from maintaining that position over the long term. We believe that fact led to IBM being placed in the Challengers quadrant in last year’s edition. Had we stayed the course with our previous strategy and product set, we think it might have been possible through incremental improvements to edge closer to the Leaders quadrant once again, with the possibility of crossing back into it at some point in the future. However, trying the same approach harder is not "playing to win".
To win, you need to decide "what not to do" as much you decide what you should do. IBM decided to focus on elevating capabilities that strengthen our ability to deliver enterprise data resilience. That meant letting go in a market where we were once were a Leader, embracing change, and setting a new direction.
Executing on this strategy meant shifting resources and capabilities into data resiliency. This starts with focusing on providing comprehensive data resiliency across primary and secondary workloads, moving beyond backup. It also means embarking on a multi-year vision for data resiliency, one that emphasizes reducing impact from cyber-attacks by helping customers inventory their data based on importance or its recoverability from a cyber-attack. It means putting in place capabilities to detect cyber threats early and reliably and enabling enterprises to recover their minimum viable company safely and quickly. We are also focusing on integrating with prevailing SecOps workflows to align and enable Security and Storage teams to work together.
Strategy pivots take conviction, a fast-moving team with a learning mindset, and most importantly, validation from our clients. We believe this Gartner Magic Quadrant is a sign that the pivot we’ve been making is being recognized. There is tremendous value to be unlocked when we take a step back to materialize our vision and execute in record time to deliver enterprise-ready data resiliency. IBM Storage Defender will continue to grow and deliver value for our clients as we work hard at proving our ability to execute, providing more ways to consume its capabilities, and fully realizing our vision for enterprise data resilience.
References, Disclaimers and Acknowledgements
Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions, Michael Hoeck, Nik Simpson, and 2 more, 7 August 2023
IBM was recognized as a Leader till 2020
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