by Thomas Wailgum

12 Tech Survey Topics That Should Die in 2011

Dec 16, 2010
Consumer ElectronicsData CenterEnterprise Applications

Enough is enough: We don't need any more surveys about "dramatic Facebook usage" or "CIOs' interest in cloud." Because 100 percent of this research is an introduction to the obvious.

I receive a lot of promotional e-mails that blast “new,” “game changing” and “dramatic” survey results that relate to technology—whether in the consumer or enterprise (B2B) space.

Most of the “revelations” in these survey results aren’t revelatory or, for that matter, interesting. They merely state what’s been surveyed and accounted for before (and what’s been added to our conventional wisdom).

The most insulting types of surveys, however, are those undertaken, crafted and paid for by high-tech vendors who slice and dice the results not to uncover important market truisms but, rather, to validate their strategies and products (“validate” being the operative word here).

Here are six consumer and six B2B sets of “survey results” that we all could do without.

Consumer Tech

Thirty- and 40-year-olds are on Facebook wayyyyyy too much. News flash! Think of what most of you did this morning before you “got down to work.” And: Teenagers don’t use Twitter. Think that one’s been fairly well established, folks. Those 13-year-olds really prefer Facebook, we get it. (BTW, this just in: Teenagers like to play video games. Holy crap, they do?! Really? We should do another survey on that topic.)

Gen Y’ers entering the workforce need to be managed differently than Baby Boomers. Gee, I hadn’t a clue about that, especially when I consider the stark differences between my grumpy father (who still can’t cut and paste in Word—”Control plus V, what the heck?!”) and my Facebooking, high-school nephew who’s got a smartphone embedded in his hand (not literally, mind you).

Most of us human beings prefer to use easy-to-figure out (a.k.a. “weak”) passwords. Does “123456” or “password” ring a bell? How about your kid’s or dog’s name, maybe with your birth year thrown in at the end?

Illegal music file-sharing is costing the music industry “billions” each year. No, I believe it’s music executives’ lack of foresight, inability to change and general stupidity that is costing the industry “billions” each year.

Consumers love them some Apple products. As long as it’s got that elegant Apple logo on the outside and some type of shimmering silver casing, we are all buying! I think Apple’s sales figures demonstrate that pretty clearly. Also: No more surveys telling us how “admired” Steve Jobs is in the tech industry. We get it: He’s an all-knowing, all-seeing god!!

Most Americans have used the Internet within the past 12 months. Again, my Dad (a.k.a. “Grandpa George”) is online and knows how to use “The Google.” In addition, we don’t need any more surveys that “reveal” that more people are shopping online. Even the long-deceased dog knows that.

Enterprise / B2B Technology

CIOs want to be in “the cloud” but remain cautious about “the cloud.” Not going to surprise anyone at this point, is it? Also: No need to survey anybody anymore about “cloud confusion.” Software vendors have done a pretty good job mucking things up.

Social Media will have a big impact on corporate marketing budgets this year. Geeee, ya think?!

ERP implementations are difficult. Been that way since the 1980s and it’s going to be that way for a while, friends.

Software piracy is costing the software industry “billions” each year. Sound familiar? I don’t see too many software company execs going hungry, do you?

Users will circumvent IT procedures whenever and wherever possible. As they say in Boston, most employees are “wicked smaht” about technology these days and can (and will) go around IT’s policies and procedures for everything from e-mail to security to buying software. CIOs are well aware of this trend.

Big software projects fail because of poor change-management plans. The familiar refrain goes something like this: “Let’s just roll this software out to the masses bugs and all, let those people we picked to be the trainers handle that part (even though they’re not getting paid to do it), and the employees will have to use the new software because we told them to. Sound good? Great!” How’s that been working for ya?

[ For more tech-industry snark, see: 10 Most Exaggerated Tech Terms and Email Spam: The Response You Always Wanted to Write ]

Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at