December seems to be the season for benchmark surveys on information technology.
The Construction Financial Management Association, Princeton, N.J., expects to finish data collection by the end of the year on one major survey. CFMA has been authoring technology surveys every two years since 1996. Its 2004 edition will analyze trends revealed by responses going back that far. The online form can be found at www.cfma.org.
The sampling breaks down the industry by 27 types of contractor and sorts responding companies by number of employees and revenue. Erica OGrady, CFMAs director of online services, says the surveys 99 questions should take about an hour to complete.
The survey collects detailed information about IT resources, hardware of preference and operating systems. It asks about networks, Internet set-ups, use of field data collection tools and wireless access, as well as security and safety arrangements.
Software-usage questions are broken down by function and product vendor. Covered are CAD, estimating, accounting and payroll, project management, project collaboration and project scheduling, as well as asset management and other functions. The form also collects data about plans for future implementations and IT investments.
The results will be sold in March for $250 for nonmembers of the CFMA, although nonmember respondents will be able to get the report for $60. Members get lower prices.
Another survey, whose results are being analyzed, comes from a poll of the members of the American Society of Professional Estimators, Wheaton, Md. It asks about software products that members use in their work.
"We wanted a snapshot of what they are using, why they are using it, how long they have been using it and why they stick with what they stick with," says Ed Walsh, ASPE executive director. He says preliminary data show 94% of all respondents are satisfied with the software they have. Results will be on the Web by Jan. 1 at www.aspenational.org.