For DITA XML, does “one size fit all”? The answer is: “yes”.
When doing my recent revamp of the Companies using DITA listing, the information available on LinkedIn not only included the industry category that a company belonged to, but all the size of the company in terms of the number of people it employed. My expectation from my experience as an industry consultant was that it would primarily be the larger companies that are using DITA, but that turned out not to be the case, as the following graph makes clear:
Now all of this depends on what you call a “small company” and what you call a “large company”. While the distinction is somewhat arbitrary, if you use the yardstick that U.S. Small Business Administration uses, on average the cutoff point between a small and a large industry lies somewhere in the 500-1,000 people range (this depends very much on industry, but broadly applies to the types of firms being looked at here). If we take 500 employees as the cutoff point between large and small, then yes, a majority of “large” firms are using DITA. But at 63% this is not exactly overwhelming, and to me suggests strongly that DITA is a “one size fits all” solution.
A Slice of Diversity
While seeking other patterns in the data, I found that Computer Software and Information Technology and Services are well represented throughout the slices, and that some industry types tend to the small side (Writing and Editing, Consultancy), and others to the large (Biotechnology, Financial Services, Oil & Energy) for the most part the spread of industry sectors using DITA was diverse.
As an example, here’s a breakdown of all of the industry sectors represented in the second-largest piece of the pie, the 20% of companies using DITA that have between 1,001-5,000 employees:
While Computer Software and Information Technology & Service firms dominate this slice in terms of the sheer number of firms (which is the same for most of the slices of this pie) it is interesting to see the diverse number of industry types that are represented.
Private vs. Public?
One other piece of information that LinkedIn provided about most of the companies it lists is whether they are publicly owned, privately held or belongs to some other classification. I didn’t know what to expect here, as I doubted that whether a firm was publicly- or privately-owned would make a difference when it came to DITA adoption. I was right:
As you can see it is basically an even split. What I find interesting in this particular chart is the small but not insignificant portions belonging to Government, Nonprofit and Educational Institutions. To my mind these are clearly areas for future growth in DITA adoption.