Survey says! 3 surprising IT facts

A sneak peek at the Spiceworks 2017 State of IT Report offers confirmation of cloud growth, insight on pricing and a surprising level of geopolitical chauvinism

Survey says! 3 surprising IT facts

I’m always interested in Spiceworks’ annual State of IT survey of hundreds of IT folks around the world. Last year I wrote about results indicating that PCs continue to top IT hardware investments. Well, the 2017 report isn’t out yet, but the company has release a few teaser findings, which still piqued my interest.

1. The cloud is growing—duh

First, and least surprising, the results indicate continued cloud computing momentum. According to Spiceworks, “38 percent of IT pros consider cloud very or extremely important in 2016 compared to 29 percent in 2015.” That kind of growth is only to be expected in the current environment.

But actually, this result is surprising—in that it’s not higher. Much, much higher.

Who exactly are the 62 percent of IT professionals who don’t think the cloud is important? Even if their particular corners of IT-land aren’t going cloud-crazy, it seems pretty obvious that just about everyone else is. The cloud is transforming information technology, and the arc of history on this issue seems crystal clear. I’m looking forward to the final report for more insight on what the cloud deniers are thinking.

2. Price and features don’t drive purchases

From a personal perspective, this one should have been obvious. While vendors push new products and features, and everyone wants a deal, the Spiceworks survey says those factors don’t account for most IT purchases.

Instead, it’s all about solving business needs like tech end-of-life and company growth. That basically syncs with how I buy almost everything in my personal life. I can occasionally be attracted by a bargain, or a really cool new piece of technology, but the vast majority of the time I buy something because, you know, I need it. 

It might seem a little disappointing that there isn’t more groundbreaking new tech out there that’s driving demand, but perhaps we’re looking at it the wrong way. You’re not buying that new widget just because it’s new or cheap, but because it solves a need in your business. And maybe it does so using new technology and features or by being less expensive than the alternatives. 

3. IT buyers won’t go there

Finally, it seems many IT folks are unusually sensitive to geopolitical turmoil, especially in foreign lands. The survey indicated that “more than 60 percent of IT buyers said they’re unlikely to invest in products or services from Brazil, India or China in times of political or economic uncertainty.”

Well, in the 21st century, pretty much every day qualifies as a time of political or economic uncertainty. Just as important, those three countries hardly have a lock on potential disruptions. Just think Brexit, the Greek bailout, Spain’s lack of a government, the U.S. presidential election, tensions with Russia and Ukraine, deflation in Japan, ongoing issues in the Middle East. I could go on and on.

I’m not saying it doesn’t pay to be careful, but I am surprised that Brazil (where the Olympic seems to have come off surprisingly well), India (which hasn’t been in the news that much recently) and China (one of the biggest tech manufacturers in the world) are getting singled out.

Hopefully, the release of the final report will shed more light on these and other questions.

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