I've written about it recently (here and here). Corbin Links added his thoughts in response to my post. Ash Motiwala dished out some love to Symplified. Jeff Bohren responded to Ash's post.
I've also been discussing the positives and negatives offline with various people around the traps and realised that there are many differing opinions depending on people's backgrounds, experiences and who they work for. I've already said it's a hard sell. But I'm also curious...
When will the market be ready? Will it ever be ready? What are organisations actually worried about? What are the barriers to adoption? Is it all perception? Are there other concerns we don't know about?
It would be great if I could get everyone who had an opinion to write blog posts about this or even leave a comment. But that takes a non-trivial amount of time and thought. So I've decided to make an attempt at the next best thing: a survey. Less thinking, less writing. Just answer the multiple choice questions.
The problem with a survey is that it's useless unless there's a decent number of responses. With that in mind, I've decided to only publish the results of the survey if I can get a useful sample set to present (I'm willing to take suggestions regarding what constitutes a useful sample set). That should be enough incentive (for those interested in the results) to complete the survey and encourage others to participate as well. I'm not trying to target a particular demographic. The more the merrier.
So what are you waiting for?
Note: This is a first draft survey. It could very well suck, in which case you're more than welcome to tell me and suggest improvements. Perhaps I could post a version 2.0 survey up in due course.
UPDATE: This survey engine should be labelled "Alpha", not "Beta". I've just noticed that it changed some minor settings (or maybe it just didn't save my settings properly) and I can't fix them because once a survey's been published it can't be modified. The most obvious/annoying one being that I set the "what country do you live in" question to be optional, but the thing insists that people fill it in! I also wish they allowed for "survey cloning" because I've just had to copy all the questions and response options manually from the old one to create the new one!
Anyway, I've updated my original link to point at the new version of the survey (labelled version 1.1), but here it is again. (Update 19 Sept: New version of the survey is here. Full details here.) I've left the old one running in case people saved the link for use later. Thanks to those of you that have already taken the survey. Your responses have been saved (so you don't need to take the new survey - the questions are exactly the same) and I'll include them if/when I publish the results. If anyone finds issues with the new version of the survey, please let me know.
I will take your survey!
Ian, you might want to consider one survey for those who supply services and another for "end users" I think that could give you some interesting insights...
Fantastic survey. Honestly, was very impressed. I've put together a few suggestions:
1. I think there should be an addendum to question 10, asking if they implemented the technology themselves, or with outside help. If they used consultants, how much (percentage perhaps)?
2. There should be a question asking for each technology, how many target systems were included in the project.
3. I thought that 'risk management' was a bit broad. Perhaps focusing it?
4. I'm interested in the relationship between business drivers and a corporations willingness to outsource. (was that in there?)
5. For question 12, they should be allowed to select more than one option.
6. Question 14 is intimidating, and might be frustrating for a person to fill out. I don't know how, but if there is a way to make it easier to answer, it will ensure that the person doesn't get frustrated and leave. Currently, the user has to answer each and every section in q 14.
7. More of an aesthetic suggestion, let the user know how far along they are towards completion at each question (for example. question 10 of 14)?
Good stuff, Ian.
Matt P, I did consider that but I thought it might be too difficult getting people to do 2 different surveys. I do have a question in there about whether a person works for a solution provider. I should be able to use that fact to carve up the results...hopefully.
Thanks Ash. To address your suggestions:
1) Good idea. I'll make a note for version 2.0.
2) That might be too detailed? I'm not sure how that relates to whether someone would outsource...unless you mean that based on the answer I can determine whether they want to outsource because they have a very complex project.
3) Yeah it is a bit general. But to break it down might add too much detail. Any suggestions for what you think sub-categories would be?
4) This was sort of in there near the end of the survey...although I didn't ask the questions directly about business drivers. I'll make a note to add something about business drivers in version 2.0.
5) I did consider that...but then I'd probably have people selecting all the options because they are all valid reasons. I wanted to get people to think about what really mattered and narrow it down to a single choice.
6) I agree. It frustrated me a little too when I was testing it (mainly because I knew I wasn't going to be counting my own result). But I'm not sure how I'd break it up apart from turning the single question into lots of separate questions.
7) That should be there in version 1.1. The software did something strange in the first version and it didn't appear. So it depends on which one you answered. Could have also been the browser you were using. I've noticed some aspects look a little different depending on the browser.
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