IT Market Clocks use a clock-face metaphor to represent relative market time. Each point on the clock represents an IT asset or asset class. An asset is positioned on the clock using two parameters.
Where it currently lies within its useful market life. Each clock begins at 0 (the "Market Start") and moves clockwise around to 12.
Its relative level of commoditization. This determines the distance from the center of the clock–assets further from center are more commoditized.
The clock is divided into quarters, each representing one of the market phases of an asset's useful life. The quarters are named to highlight the general approach recommended for assets passing through that phase:
Advantage-assets in the customized phase, which provide differentiated technology, service or capability
Choice-assets in the mass-customized phase, subject to increasing levels of standardization and growing supply options
Cost-assets in the commoditized phase, where differentiation between alternative sources is at its minimum level and competition centers on price
Replacement-assets in the disfavored phase, usually legacy technologies, services or capabilities
A Market Clock Recommendation Summary provides a tabular summary of the positions and expected trajectory for each IT asset or asset class, as well as specific recommendations.