This time, you can trust the cloud Magic Quadrant

The latest Garter Magic Quadrant report for cloud infrastructure is out. Usually, the release of a Magic Quadrant means I have to correct its findings when talking to my clients. Enterprises take these as gospel, managing by Magic Quadrant—and as a result picking their technology, often the wrong technology, for the wrong reasons.

This time, I have good news: This cloud Magic Quadrant is one you can trust.

In that chart, every provider in the upper right (the execution-plus-vision leadership quadrant)—Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google—is truly a provider that matters in the IaaS space.

In the lower right quadrant (visionaries with execution challenges) are IBM and Oracle. That largely makes sense: They have the ability to buy companies and spend money to become “me too” providers. I don’t view them as visionaries, as Garter does, but then again Gartner doesn’t credit them for that much vision in its placement on the chart. They’re also not niche players, which may be why they ended up near the edge of that bottom right quadrant. Alibaba is in that section of the Magic Quadrant as well, perhaps because of its impact in Asia.

The providers in the bottom left of the Magic Quadrant—the niche players— are indeed the niche players. But one of those is not like the others: Rackspace is focused on the managed server provider space that enables IaaS clouds, such as AWS, Google, and Microsoft. The others are niche IaaS providers to enterprises.

So, if you who like a simple answer to the question “which cloud should I use?” you can take this latest Magic Quadrant’s assessment. Still, many enterprises will end up with two or three of these providers—often including niche providers—to satisfy their specific business requirements. No single cloud solves all enterprises issues yet.

And that means you still need to think through the cloud provider mix you ultimately choose, not just blindly pick whichever is closest to the top right of the Magic Quadrant. What’s refreshing in this latest version is that the vendors are in the right quadrants, so you can more easily determine who the right candidates are for your various needs.