Datasynapse recently released the results of a survey that indicated that IT executives were more concerned about high performance computing than virtualization (I guess that meant using virtual machine software to create a virtual server-based environment rather than a more comprehensive use of the term). I must have not been on their distribution list because I only found it during my normal early morning scan of the news. Alright, alright, if I did it, it couldn't have been a normal scan of the news.
When I read survey results that don't pass the "reasonable person" test, that is the results would be surprising to an informed, reasonable person, the first things that I look at are:
- Is the sample reasonable, that is the right people were surveyed
- Is the sample size large enough so that the results can be seen as broadly applicable
- Was the survey instrument constructed to produced unbiased results.
In a quick review of the DataSynapse press release, I can see that the sample included the right people, CIOs, but, unfortunately, it only 100 people were included in the sample. This certainly isn't a large enough group for the results to be seen as representative of the market as a whole. Depending upon who those people were, the results may only represent CIOs who have offices in NY City and are engaged in financial services or something equally restrictive.
So, I tend to discount this survey as a self-serving vehicle for self promotion rather than having any use to the market as a whole. I always wonder why a supplier, such as DataSynapse, would undertake the effort to produce a survey that will immediately be seen as self-serving, biased and or not reflect reality in any type of broad fashion. In the end, it only tends to hurt their image with the people they're trying to influence.
While I suspect that there are some CIOs in the world that would agree with these results (we know that at least 100 did), it is far more likely that other views would dominate the results of a larger, broader survey.
What do you think of the survey results presented by Datasynapse? Do you think that they represent the views held by your organization's decision-makers.