The 3rd annual iPulse Survey, organized by LANSA, ran during November and December 2012 and was promoted to the global IBM i community via email, social media and publicized by leading industry media organization – IT Jungle.
This year’s survey attracted just over 1,370 participants worldwide, which is around 8.5% down on the previous year. This represented a drop of 150 participants, whereas the previous drop from 2010 to 2011 was 182 participants, representing a 10% fall in responses.
The survey reached further afield in 2012 with responses from 80 countries, which is a 12.5% increase on last year. The Americas represented just over half of the survey responses with 51%, a third of the responses were from EMEA and the remainder from the Asia/Pacific region.
The survey was taken by a cross-section of people whose job roles were as follows:
- Business Management – 43% (up from 22%)
- Developer/Analyst – 42% (up from 40%)
- Project Management – 3% (down from 17%)
- Operations – 10% (down from 13%)
- Other (vendor, journalist, consultant, etc) – 2% (down from 8%)
While in 2011 we observed a demographic shift in Business Management – going from 36% to 22%, this year we almost see a complete reversal, with responses from Business Management increasing to 43%. However, in 2012 we see a dramatic drop in Project Management – reducing from a 17% response rate to just 3%. Year-on-year the responses from Developers/Analysts remain pretty constant, with just a 2-point increase.
Each year we ask 5 key questions, the results of which follow:
Probably the most eagerly anticipated piece of information from this survey is the answer to this question, and now, as we are in the 3rd year of this poll, we can begin to plot a trend – albeit not a huge reference base: None 26%, Low 39%,Medium 19% and High 16%.
The good news is that the numbers are relatively static – again! Platform attrition is clearly at a slow pace. In fact this year’s results indicate that a slightly higher majority of this year’s sample rated the threat to the platform between low and none. Those who responded with a view to high threat also decreased in 2012.
The results to this question will, (as stated previously) to some degree, correlate with how under threat the platform is felt to be. For instance, it is unlikely that the budget for continuing new development would be found in a high threat situation.
Year-on-year the comparison of responses to this question doesn’t reveal much change in peoples’ plans for the platform, although looking at the 3-year trend ,there seem to be some subtle patterns emerging. While continuing with development remains a constant, the number intending to modernize seems to be increasing. There is a 2-point increase from 2010 – 2012 and a 3-point increase on last year. This subtle change is also reflected in responders’ attitude towards migration, which has seen a 2-point reduction between 2010 and 2012.
The state of the economy has been referenced each year when we publish the iPulse results. Unfortunately there’s no getting away from the fact that we are operating in a volatile business economy, with tough austerity measures affecting many nations across the globe. I’m no economist, but as this period of frugality persists, businesses must adapt and recognize that just ‘treading-water’ will not help growth.
When the global recession first hit, we observed iPulse Survey responders take drastic action by slashing budgets. In 2010 49% of responders stated that their software budget for the IBM i was zero. But as time went by, businesses adapted and we noticed some easing in the following year’s results, with only 40% claiming a zero budget on their IBM i software investment. This trend has also continued into 2012, only 35% of responses indicated a zero budget. There is also a marked increase with those having a $100K budget in 2012.
4. Software Investment Plans
Each year we ask participants where their software budget would most likely be invested. Last year we introduced two new areas of investment – Cloud Computing and Mobile Solutions, which collectively commanded nearly a quarter of the investment budget.
In 2012 it would have been reasonable to assume a greater investment in these areas, as hype around these topics is still high. But to the contrary, there has actually been a reduction in this number, with investment now only commanding a fifth of budget. Cloud Computing seemed to bare the brunt of this fall, with mobile down only 1-point.
Other movers and shakers on the investment front include Utilities – down by a huge 13-points against 2010 – Application Development – down 8-points on last year, HA and DR down 7-points and Application Modernization down 5-points.
Note: iPulse Survey responders from 2011 were not polled on the Utilities segment. This was re-introduced in 2012 on the request of some vendors.
5. Vendors Perceived to be leaders in their given field
Finally, we asked participants to list who they perceive to be the leading vendors in a number of product categories. This is an optional section, with free text entry, and therefore not a particularly scientific study. Where participants listed product names, these were changed to the appropriate vendor for said product. The data has also been normalized that the score for, say, Vision includes their brand names like MIMIX and iTERA.
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