The IT Priorities Research Program is ZDNet's and TechRepublic’s way of staying in very close touch with the technology plans of medium and large organizations. The program launched in October 2002 and has been collecting data continuously since that time. The study is designed to provide a near-real-time snapshot of business technology initiatives over two timeframes: Now and 12 months from now. Since we gather this information continuously, we possess over three years of trailing data with a moving planning horizon of 12 months.
Every 30 days, the B2B Research Team selects a representative sample of 300-500 IT managers who work in US organizations of more than 500 employees. We ask them two open-ended questions:
"Currently, what information technology project or implementation has the most resources dedicated to it?"
"What is the most important technology initiative your IT organization plans to implement over the next 12 months?"
The roughly 2,000 free-form answers are then coded by research analysts and mapped to our comprehensive taxonomy of enterprise IT technologies. From there, the data are analyzed for statistical differences among the responses across a 3-month window. Several inferential statistics are calculated to confirm the robustness of the underlying trends.
Late last year, we enhanced the program by asking the respondents which specific vendors were being considered for their projects, as well as which vendors were no longer being considered, and why. Each month, the results of the IT Priorities Study are highlighted on ZDNet, and starting November, 2005, will also be featured on TechRepublic.