Research: Vendor Value 2004 – Methodology

What does the survey measure? CIO Insight’s 2004 Vendor Value Survey measures how U.S.- and Canada-based IT executives generally perceive the value of their vendors’ product and service offerings, and those executives’ overall satisfaction with the support these vendors provide.

How were the vendors selected? Unless otherwise noted, 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, telecommunications, IT consulting and outsourcing companies in the U.S., we relied on several sources for revenue and market share data: Gartner, the Fortune 1000 list, the Forbes Private 500 list, Hoover’s Online and annual and financial reports of individual companies. Most of the companies which were included in the 2003 Vendor Value survey were included in this year’s survey; usually deletions were due to insufficient qualified responses. Our aim was to provide readers with information on approximately 45 of the most widely used vendors in these categories; we published results on 44 vendors out of 50 that were included in our survey. We limited hardware companies to manufacturers of PCs and servers, storage equipment, and networking equipment, and software companies to producers that create and sell software intended primarily for business use across many industries. We included companies that provide consulting, systems integration, outsourcing and IT services (other than data processing services and business process outsourcing services), which do not derive most of their IT service revenues from the defense sector, information processing services and sales outside the U.S. We also included the six largest telecommunications services vendors in the U.S., as ranked by the Fortune 500, but did not include companies which are primarily wireless telecom service providers.

How was the survey conducted? CIO Insight editors designed the 2004 Vendor Value and Satisfaction Survey together with Equation Research, LLC (, an 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 1,050 qualified respondents (487 from companies with under $1 billion in revenues, and 563 from companies with over $1 billion in revenues) replied from October 5 to October 25, 2004. Of the respondents, 62 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, software, telecommunications, consulting 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); 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 (vendor name) 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 telecommunications services.
  • We have used their hardware products
  • We have used their software products

    Please rate (vendor name) 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 (vendor name)?

  • CIO Insight Staff
    CIO Insight Staff
    CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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