Dear loyal subscribers of our analytical reports,Some of you have been enquiring about what we mean exactly when we make predictions about the future of IT using probability estimates. We thought this would be a good key to let you know what we mean when we say that there is 0.8 chance of this event occurring or 0.9 chance of this event occurring. We have included past examples to illustrate.
1.0 - No "ifs" or "buts", this is going to happenThis is going to happen, because a vendor commissioned us to say so. It's in the contract kid. So you better just believe it.
Past example: BlueMagoo software signed a contract with us to tell you they will take over the world. BlueMagoo will, most definitely, take over the world.
0.9 - You can bet ya bottom dollar this will happenIt is highly likely this will happen. We aren't just guessing here either, we have proof. We made some phone calls, checked our overseas analyst reports, spied on our competitors and, with the exception of the end of the world as we know it, this is going to happen.
Past example: Microsoft will be split up in light of the antitrust trial.
0.8 - This, we believe, will happen
Less of a calculated guess and more of a gut feeling. We really believe it will happen, because the salespeople and marketeers had some great PowerPoint slides to prove it.
Past example: The eCRM market, minus call centres, will sell less call centres than the CRM market, plus call centres.
0.7 - This, we'd like to believe, will happenThis is something that would really be of benefit to our vendor sponsors, but thankfully we didn't put that in the contract because, let's face it, we're likely to be wrong. 30 per cent likely actually.
Past example: BlueMagoo software will take over Microsoft.
0.6 - This, if it were a horse race, indicates decent oddsTo continue with the horse racing analogy, this would be a prediction to put your money on if you're one of those punters who favours decent odds but never backs a favourite. Because favourites rarely win you know. There's only a 0.2 probability of that happening.
Past example: Shogun Lodge in the 6th at Rosehill, during the last carnival.
0.5 - This is a toss-up
This is one of those predictions that literally sits on the fence. You might argue that analysts are supposed to know what's going on and not just sit on the fence, but hey, this is a hard job alright? Quit your bitching! Sometimes, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
Past example: The euthanasia debate, the abortion argument and the sex scandal surrounding our vendor partner's CEO are issues we won't touch with a 10-foot pole.
0.4 - This is like a toss-up, only frowning instead of smilingThis is like sitting on the fence, but being close to falling off. We believe it might happen but are scared to make that public in case it affects the PR of our vendor partners in some abstract way.
Past example: Shrink-wrapped software will make up less than 5 per cent of all software sold in the year 2010.
0.3 - This won't happen while I'm employed as an analystThis is an easy prediction because it's unlikely to happen in our lifetime, let alone during my short stint as an IT analyst. I really want to be a motor-cross bike rider or a world champion abseiler. This is just getting my foot in the door of living on the edge, you know what I mean?
Past example: The ASP market will be worth $200 million squillion by the year 2101.
0.2 - This might happen, but pigs might flyThis is not going to happen. I mean, let's be serious. We only give it the 0.2 concession because there are a few members of staff here at Analysis Inc. who believe, or have had close sources inform them, that pigs have indeed flown.
Past example: A direct retail sales model will succeed for vendors.
0.1 - This cannot happen
This can't happen because it is likely to be of benefit to the direct competitors of our vendor partners. So forget it, it's a pipe dream, it won't happen.
Past example: RedMagoo will take over the world.
Note: There is a 0.1 probability the above guide is accurate enough to be taken seriously. There also a 0.1 per cent chance that there is a real company called Analysis Inc., BlueMagoo or Red Magoo.