CIOs and IT leaders are in need of vendors that can merge technologies and business scenarios to solve multifaceted problems. Gartner, Inc.'s 2018 Cool Vendors research examines disruptive vendors that deliver rapid transformation projects, optimize the use of technology and solve challenges which have been around for a long time.
The Gartner 2018 Cool Vendors research profiles 269 Cool Vendors in 66 reports. Many of these providers are exploiting digitalization, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), conversational user experience and the Internet of Things (IoT) to build the next generation of innovation and offer unprecedented opportunities to exploit new business models.
Gartner's definition of a Cool Vendor is a small company offering a technology or service that is:
- Innovative — enables users to do things they couldn't do before
- Impactful — has or will have a business impact, not just technology for its own sake
- Intriguing — has caught Gartner's interest during the past six months
"Being named one of Gartner's 2018 Cool Vendors means that one must stand out from the crowd. But it also means doing something worth doing," said Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Being a Cool Vendor in 2018 is all about solving difficult problems in segments including banking and investment services, supply chain execution and IoT security."
CIOs are finding that the trends in technology evolution are increasingly intersecting. At the same time, the evolution of business transformation relies so heavily on technology that is it difficult to pull them apart. This is one of the key pillars of digital business and a major benefit when executed well. This means that more vendors have to provide reliable use cases for business innovation through technology.
"For CIOs, finding the right use case can prove difficult, but rewarding. To build and expand their digital business, they must consider and test new vendors, strategies and directions for their businesses as they contemplate future uses of technology to drive revenue growth," said Mr. Plummer. "Our featured Cool Vendors might not be billion-dollar unicorns, but they may deliver solutions to those craving digital successes."
Since Gartner first introduced the Cool Vendors report in 2004, more than 3,700 Cool Vendors have been profiled. A few Cool Vendors have gone on to become IT megavendors in their own right, while others have been acquired by megavendors and other industry stalwarts; however, some have simply disappeared from the radar. While the 2018 collection of Cool Vendors is not exhaustive, Gartner analysts have selected some companies to highlight based on their sense of how impactful they are today and can be in the near future.
Additional information is available in the report "Cool Vendors 2018: Technologies and Business Come Together to Solve the Hard Problems — A Gartner Trend Insight Report." This special report looks at how many of this year's Cool Vendors are keeping pace in solving long-standing problems in elegant ways and embedding new technologies in every business scenario.
Additional information on the 2018 Cool Vendors is available in the Gartner webinar "Cool Vendors 2018: Unicorns Are Hard to Find."