Starting in its 2009 survey of users of architectural and engineering software, Cyon Research began asking respondents how they expected their companies’ revenue would change that year and the following year. In 2009 negativism was rampant as the United States plunged into a severe recession and 57% expected revenue to decrease and only 23% were looking for revenue to increase. The 2010 survey was more optimistic and in 2011, respondents had totally switched their outlook on the economy with 70% expecting revenue growth in the second half of 2012 and less than 10% expecting revenue to decrease during that period.
This is only a small sampling of the results Cyon extracted for over 600 user responses to our latest survey taken in 2011. These responses came from all over the world and represented over 550 companies. The survey asked for specific responses to some questions while others were open-ended and asked for comments – some of which were brief while others were quite extensive. This group of respondents used just about every design, analysis and data management product currently being sold and some that have passed into oblivion. To continue improving insight into the industry, a new survey is being offered at http://surveymonkey.com/s/fromENR.
In addition to asking respondents their outlook on revenue, Cyon explored a number of questions concerning staffing and the procurement of technical software and maintenance on that software. One message that came through loud and clear was that everyone is trying to get more done with less expenditure on technology. While the expectation was that there would be more hiring of technical staff, companies were sharpening their pencils when it came to software expenditures. As one example, a significant number of companies have reviewed software purchased in the past, but no longer actively used, and decided to eliminate maintenance on those packages.
Cyon has long been curious concerning the extent to which the user community prefers tightly integrated software versus best-in-class software. In general, those who actively use the software seem to prefer best-in-class while infrequent users (typically managers) prefer well integrated software.
The survey also explored issues surrounding why users would switch their primary design or analysis software. We separated respondents into two categories, those who had gone through a transition due to some form of corporate consolidation and those who had never been through a consolidation. A surprisingly large number of participants in both groups indicated that they were either in the process of switching software or were considering doing so. The primary reason for doing so was to obtain improved technology whether that meant expanded functionality, ease of use or better performance. For many respondents, the decision, however, is dictated by the need to be compatible with customers.
Another significant area we explored was the extent to which respondents have adopted new or emerging technologies and how that had changed since the prior survey. For example we saw a substantial increase in the use of Microsoft’s Windows 7 while there was a small decrease in the acceptance of that company’s SharePoint software.
The results of this survey will be discusses at Cyon Research’s Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES) in Scottsdale, AZ on April 12-15, 2012 where Dr. Alan Kay will be the keynote speaker. For more information on either Cyon’s recent survey or COFES, contact Brad Holtz at email@example.com.