It appears that many of you did so. This year's survey was a record-breaker with 30 percent more votes than last year. Since COMMON Europe hosts the survey, it's not surprising that more votes came from Europe than other geographies (57 percent) while 30 percent of the votes were cast from the Americas.
And the results? The top concern from the survey was the need for education-- or as the survey puts it "Keep the skills current for existing staff." This replaces last year's top concern "Satisfy internal customers" (though this was still highly ranked at No. 3).
While we have certainly felt the need for more education for IBM i shops, we have to admit more than a little bias in that direction! So it is encouraging to see how many of the survey respondents have also decided it is a higher priority than in previous years. Along similar lines is the appearance of "Acquire and retain qualified IT personnel" at No. 6. This is a concern that many in both Europe and North America have expressed to us over the past few months. It is encouraging and worrying at the same time. Worrying because it indicates that the lack of IBM i skills in the marketplace is becoming a bigger problem for many shops.
There are also some results in the top half of the survey that we feel could perhaps be related. Concern No. 5--Attract the younger generation to Power Systems with IBM i--and Concern No. 8--Attract senior Executives to Power Systems and System i--appear to be closely connected to Concern No. 7--IBM to aggressively market the IBM i. Although, as our post from last week suggests, we have come to the conclusion that it's far better for us to take up that cause ourselves than to wait for IBM to have a radical change of heart regarding marketing specific platforms. Who knows, maybe we'll even cause the change of heart to occur by setting the example!
Surprising to us in the results was the relatively low priority given to the three concerns related to mobile devices--even lower than implementing Web-oriented architectures. Of course, all of the items in the list have already been voted as "Top Concerns." These votes simply help to prioritize them. But the relatively low position related to mobile devices seems counter to No. 5 above it--attracting the younger generation to IBM i.
Perhaps we should assume that the reason it wasn't as highly ranked is because so many IBM i shops have already implemented mobile and Web interfaces. We can dream, can't we? Sadly it is far more likely that the sparsity of Web applications and the relatively low importance given to them (No. 10--Implement Web-oriented architectures) is at least in part responsible for the failure to attract the younger generation.
If you want to view the results in more detail for yourself and compare them to previous survey results, visit the website.