The enterprise software blogosphere is full of end-of-year surveys and findings every December. One of the more interesting I've seen is the CIO Insight listing of the value of an eclectic mix of IT suppliers. This survey comes up with an overall rating, and a series of what the Web site calls Value, Reliability and Loyalty ratings.
It is always important to understand how suppliers get on such lists. The site says it included "only vendors which received 49 or more qualified responses on all ratings" based on an overall list created using the Fortune 500 and Global 500 lists and "Ziff Davis Enterprise Research ongoing vendor studies in 30 technology categories." In all, 568 IT folks in the U.S. represented you. Of that group, 204 were C-level executives at their company, and the rest held titles of director of IT or higher (if there is anybody between those two categories in your IT shop you need an HR consultant to come in and flatten your organization).
So for example, 109 people rated Google and ranked it second overall after EMC's RSA security-software division. It's telling that 20 percent of the IT world is using Google in such a way that they could rank such criteria as "were 1) meeting expectations for increasing revenues; 2) meeting expectations for lowering business or IT costs; 3) able to solve business problems; and 4) meeting the customer's ROI or business-value expectations." Just a few years ago who would have thought the advertising department software would be so mission-critical? And who would of thought IT guys worried about such issues?
The thing I watch for in these types of surveys is the loyalty ratings. With the exception of Adobe, all the major enterprise software suppliers fell below the threshold of 90, typically considered reason to worry by marketeers. Cognos and CA were in the 70s.
If you read this blog occasionally you realize I don't cut IT suppliers much slack, but in this case I'll make an exception. CIO Insight tried to answer the question whether the IT user (you) was ranking what he or she thought of as a major supplier, minor supplier, or well-known but inconsequential supplier. You didn't mind taking a shot at all of the above. And CIO Insight looked at how many of the survey respondents (you) "worked with" the supplier during 2008. Pretty consistently 80 percent of you were willing to make Value, Reliability and Loyalty ratings on poor suppliers you hadn't seen all year.
Oh well, that's the nature of surveys.