Survey background and demographics: 2011

The 2011 TechTarget Data Center Decisions (DCD: 2011) survey is an annual project designed to gauge the technological choices of a cross-section of our readership -- IT professionals.

The 2011 TechTarget Data Center Decisions (DCD: 2011) survey is an annual project designed to gauge the technological choices of a cross-section of our readership -- IT professionals. The results obtained from DCD surveys provide TechTarget editors and staff with a deeper understanding of IT interests, including attitudes toward hardware, software (operating systems and virtualization) and systems management, as well as data center facilities and services. TechTarget properties, such as SearchDataCenter.com, use survey data to help steer editorial content to better serve readers’ interests.

Details of the 2011 survey
TechTarget released the DCD: 2011 survey in March 2011. The survey was actively promoted to North American members through regular newsletters and targeted marketing campaigns. North American responses comprise 95% of DCD: 2011 survey data.

By mid-May 2011, the DCD: 2011 survey collected complete responses from 1,040 participants and partial responses from another 321 IT professionals. This report is based on all 1,361 responses. The following details represent key characteristics of the respondent base:

What’s your job?
DCD: 2011 asked respondents to describe their role in the company. IT administrators comprised 38% of all respondents, followed by IT managers/directors at 26%. Consultants figured prominently at 19% of respondents; IT executives counted for only 6%. Data center managers comprised just 4% of respondents.

Who’s buying hardware? 
DCD: 2011 asked respondents about their role in purchasing hardware. At least 19% of DCD: 2011 respondents influence hardware choices, another 32% recommend hardware purchases, 18% specify the hardware to be purchased, and 15% of respondents actually make the hardware purchases. Only 15% of respondents had no role in hardware purchases.

Who’s into virtualization?
DCD: 2011 asked respondents about their role in purchasing virtualization technologies, and discovered that about 19% of those surveyed influence virtualization choices. Another 30% of IT respondents recommend virtualization purchases, 15% specify which virtualization platform to buy, and 14% make the virtualization purchases. At least 22% of respondents have no role in virtualization purchases.

Who’s outfitting data centers? 
When asked who had a hand in purchasing power, cooling or green data center technologies, at least 17% said they had some influence over these purchases. Twenty-nine percent recommend such technologies, 12% provide the specifications and requirements for purchases, and 11% actually make the facilities purchases. A large number -- 30% of respondents -- have no role in power, cooling or green data center technologies.

Who’s watching the numbers?
When it comes to systems management software, at least 20% of DCD: 2011 respondents influence systems management purchases while 33% recommend systems management tools. Only 16% indicate that they specify the tools to purchase and 14% have the ultimate purchasing responsibility. About 17% of IT pros have no part in purchasing systems management tools.

What markets do you serve?
Companies represented within the 1,361 responses cover a broad cross-section of business categories and vertical markets, including education at 12% and manufacturing or process industries at 12%; financial institutions and accounting at 10%, government at 10%; and business services or consulting coming in at 9%.

The remaining 47% of respondents represent numerous other industries , including health care, retail/wholesale/distribution, insurance/real estate/legal services, computer software, transportation and utilities, communications carriers, data processing services, computer hardware, and media/advertising/marketing industries. No single vertical market held a majority of responses.

How big is your company?
The financial makeup of companies responding to DCD: 2011 also covered the spectrum; however, one dynamic stood out. More than 31% of respondents belong to organizations with less than $50 million in revenue, 9% produce $50 to $99 million in revenue, 16% are ranked at $100 to $499 million in revenue, and 5% generate $500 to $999 million in revenue.

This means that the largest slice (61% of respondents) work for companies making less than $1 billion in revenue. About 20% of respondents don't know (or declined to indicate) their organization's revenue.

What about your coworkers?
When asked about the number of employees at each organization, about 20% of respondents belong to small companies with less than 100 employees, 25% can be classified as small and medium businesses with 100 to 499 employees, 10% fall into the medium-sized business class with 500 to 999 employees and 29% can be classified as medium to large enterprises with 1,000 to 9,999 employees. Just 16% of respondents hail from large enterprises employing 10,000 people or more. The headcount demographic is clearly split -- 45% of respondents belong to smaller organizations and another 45% belong to enterprise-class businesses.

This was first published in July 2011

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