Are you a Hyper-V person or an ESX person? PC or Mac? Or are you staunchly brand-disloyal, particularly when you’re buying hardware and software on a tight budget—figuring that whatever works and costs the least will win the bid?
We at Windows IT Pro want to know what your IT department’s process is for selecting products and services. Does your company tend to stick to certain brands? Do you have a formal evaluation process, or do you go with your gut? Who ultimately makes the IT buying decisions? What do you wish you could change about the process?
The IT buying process will be the first topic of our new monthly survey series that will help us plan content for the magazine, email newsletters, and website. You can find a link to the survey at www.windowsitpro.com/go/perspectives. We’ll change the survey topic frequently, so be sure to visit the IT Pro Perspectives link often. Every time you respond to one of our surveys, you’ll be entered in a drawing for some cool prizes (“cool” being a relative term in these budget-conscious times).
Launching the monthly survey process is one way we’re stepping up our efforts to gather feedback from our IT pro audience. We’ve always conducted surveys and sifted through letters, article comments, Instant Polls, and discussion forum posts to determine what problems IT pros grapple with so we can plan our content. As an example, reader feedback is the primary driver of the topics we covered this month in our “IT Annoyances” articles.
But with the launch of the IT Pro Perspectives site, we now offer a much more interactive forum for you to share your opinions. We’ll feature results of our reader surveys so you can compare your feedback with that of your peers. We’ll highlight some of the most compelling comments to articles. We’ll also ask you to rate proposed topics for product coverage, buyer’s guides, and feature articles, and suggest other article topics.
If this involvement just whets your appetite for more, we have additional opportunities for you to join the Windows IT Pro team. We’re now accepting applications from readers who would like to participate in our Windows IT Pro Advisory Board, a virtual gathering of editors, readers, user group leaders and members, vendor technical representatives, and authors. The Advisory Board will meet monthly by phone to share observations about the industry, compare trends, and suggest initiatives that Windows IT Pro can undertake on behalf of the IT pro community.
And finally, for those who have the rare combination of IT experience and writing skills, we’ve launched our “Blogger of the Month” program, which will feature a weekly blog written by one of our readers whose winning entry was selected by our panel of editors. To enter, simply write and upload a sample blog expressing your opinion about any IT topic or offering some tips or observations to your fellow IT pros. If your entry is selected, you’ll get to hold forth in a weekly blog on the Windows IT Pro site for a month—to a potential audience of about 2.5 million per month.
As we reach the midpoint of our 15th year of publication, we extend our thanks to every reader who’s ever commented on an article, pointed out our mistakes, disagreed with a product assessment, or told us that we helped him get his job done. We not only appreciate the feedback—we depend on it to produce content that’s relevant to you. We’re eager to see the results of our new Perspectives site, because we suspect that the easier and more interactive we make our communication with you, the better information we’ll get.
We appreciate the praise such as the note we recently received from CIS instructor Eric Magidson, who wanted to inquire about multiple copies of a recent issue for his students: “I have been an avid subscriber of Windows IT Pro for many years and feel that it is, by far, the best magazine and investment my students can make.”
But we know we don’t always get it right. Help us serve up even better content by adding your voice—in any number of ways—at www.windowsitpro.com/go/perspectives. You can start today by responding to our current survey about how you evaluate and purchase IT products and services.