Cool Vendors of 2017: Supporting pillars to keep pace with Digital Innovation

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CIOs and IT leaders should partner with digital disruptors that can help them maintain a pace of innovation that is at once high and sustainable. Gartner Inc.’s 2017 Cool Vendors research examines disruptive vendors that are helping companies to solve long-established problems and stay ahead of the competition in a rapidly changing world.

Gartner’s 2017 Cool Vendors research profiles 330 Cool Vendors in 76 reports. Many of these providers are exploiting digitization, 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.

“Gartner’s 2017 Cool Vendors reflect the need to stand out from the crowd, the ability to keep pace in fast-changing digital scenarios and the aptitude to solve problems that have persisted over many years,” said Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Being a Cool Vendor in 2017 is all about both standing out and fitting in. In many cases, the Cool Vendors that stand out do so because they offer a major disruptive capability or opportunity.”

Mainstream adoption of new digital technology options is reshaping expectations for what is normal. Most companies recognize that many categories of capabilities need to be reviewed to understand where the best new technologies will be applied. CIOs must actively seek out companies that can help them use these disruptive technologies to develop a stronger pace of innovation going forward.

In India, government and industry initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ are fueling the creation and adoption of innovative and cost-effective technologies, including in the dynamic field of AI.

“AI technologies are still in the early days of adoption in both India and globally,” said Naresh Singh, research director at Gartner. “However, there has been a considerable increase in interest from Indian organizations in how AI can be harnessed in automating interactions with customers, enhance efficiencies, and power smarter machinery and vehicles to achieve tasks that were not possible before.”

The cool vendors for AI in 2017 are:

  • Entropik Tech
  • Fluid AI
  • Mitra Biotech
  • Smokescreen Technologies
  • The Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz

Since Gartner first introduced the Cool Vendors report in 2004, more than 2,900 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 2017 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.

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