Research: Vendor Value 2003 - Methodology

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 11-30-2003
What does the survey measure? CIO Insight's 2003 Vendor Value Survey measures how IT executives generally perceive the value of their vendors' product and service offerings, and those executives' overall satisfaction with the support these vendors provide. It only reflects the views of U.S.-based IT executives.

How were the vendors selected? The published results include only vendors which received 50 or more qualified responses on all ratings. To create our list of the most widely used computer hardware, software, IT consulting and outsourcing companies in the U.S., we relied on several sources for data: Gartner, the Fortune 1000 list, the Forbes Private 500 list, Hoover's Online and annual and financial reports of individual companies.

Our aim was to survey IT executives on approximately 50 of the most widely used vendors; 46 vendors were selected to be surveyed out of about 150 considered.

Hardware: We included four kinds of hardware companies: PCs and servers, storage, PDAs and networking equipment. For PC and server manufacturers, we included the top five vendors on the Fortune 1000 computers and office equipment list with $5 billion in revenues worldwide and $2 billion in PC and server sales in the U.S. For PDAs, we included the top three by US shipments in PDAs according to Gartner Dataquest (the second and third company on the list was only included if the company was also eligible under another hardware category.) We included storage vendors if they met three conditions: they are primarily a storage system manufacturer rather than a hard disc drive maker, they are among the top five vendors on the Fortune 1000 computer peripheral list, and have $2 billion in revenues. Finally, we included network equipment manufacturers from the Fortune 1000 network and other communications equipment lists if they earned $5 billion in annual revenues of which over $2 billion must be in the U.S., and they sold products primarily targeted to corporate IT rather than telecommunications companies.

Software: We included software producers that create and sell software intended primarily for business use across many industries. These companies must have earned $1 billion in annual revenues in the previous fiscal year according to the Fortune 1000 or Forbes Private 500 list. Software companies were disqualified if they were used by five percent or fewer respondents to CIO Insight's 2002 vendor management survey.

IT Consulting And Services: We included companies that provide consulting, systems integration, outsourcing and IT services (other than data processing services and business process outsourcing services), but do not derive half or more of their IT service revenues from the defense sector, information processing services and sales outside the U.S. . We included firms if they appeared on one of the following lists: the top 10 Gartner Group IT service firms, the top 5 in a Gartner North American or worldwide market share list, or the top 10 in the Fortune 1000 computer & data services category. We also included firms if they were among the five most often used consulting firms in CIO Insight's 2002 vendor management survey. Finally, we also included three major IT advisory service firms.

How was the survey conducted? CIO Insight editors designed the 2003 Vendor Value and Satisfaction Survey together with Equation Research, LLC (www.equationresearch.com), a Estes Park, Colo.-based supplier of custom research services. IT executives gathered from Ziff Davis Media publication lists were invited to participate in the study by e-mail. The questions were posted on a password-protected Web site, and 1,281 qualified respondents (642 from companies with 1,000 employees or more, and 639 from companies between 50 and 999 employees) replied from October 7 to October 23, 2003. Of the respondents, 56 percent were CIOs or CTOs, and the rest held titles of vice president of IT or higher. Respondents were only considered qualified if they described themselves as very knowledgeable or knowledgeable about the IT vendors and consultants their company uses, and the value it has received from them.

How are vendors rated? After identifying the vendors they have had a business relationship with in the past 12 months, and whether they use the vendor as a hardware, provider, software provider, consultant, or outsourcing services provider, respondents were asked to rate vendors as "excellent," "good," "fair" and "poor" on seven key criteria. Four of the criteria concerned value: 1) how well they have met their company's expectations for increasing revenues (or achieving mission, if not-for-profit), and 2) for lowering business or IT costs; 3) how well they have solved the business problem their products or services were purchased or engaged to solve, and 4) have met their company's ROI (business value) expectations. The other three criteria focus on reliability: 5) how well they have met commitments to their company on time and budget 6) how flexible and responsive they have been to their company's needs and 7) how well they have met their company's quality expectations for their products and services. The "overall" rating is the mean of respondents answering "excellent" or "good" for these seven criteria. In addition, respondents were asked whether, if they had a choice, they would or would not continue to do business with each individual vendor. Unless otherwise noted, percentages given are the percentage of respondents who answered either "excellent" or "good."

The exact wording of the survey questions is as follows:

Please indicate which of the following vendors your company has had or continues to have an ongoing business relationship with during the last twelve months

Please indicate the nature of the relationship your company has (or had) with ______ in the last 12 months.
· We have used them as consultants on business and IT strategy and/or internal IT projects
· We have used their services to outsource IT systems and projects
· We have used their hardware products
· We have used their software products

Please rate _____ on how well their products and services help your company achieve the following goals and expectations:
· Meeting my company's expectations for increasing revenues (or achieving mission, if not-for-profit)
· Meeting my company's expectations for lowering business or IT costs
· Solving the business problem their products or services were purchased or engaged to solve
· Meeting my company's ROI (business value) expectations
· Meeting commitments to my company on time and budget
· Being flexible and responsive to my company's needs
· Meeting my company's quality expectations for their products and services

If you had a choice, would you continue to do business with ______?