Business confidence is higher than it’s been in nearly two
years, according to a survey of IT leaders at more than 1,100 companies by
CompTIA. The Downer’s Grove, Illinois-based organization’s
quarterly poll measuring sentiment about the economy, IT industry and
individual companies hit its highest level since the survey began in mid-2009.
CompTIA also forecast the global IT industry would grow 4 percent this year
with the potential to hit 6 percent.
The overall results point to an industry on a roll that is
expected to continue through 2011. The seven-point jump in the index took it to
60, on a 100-point scale. And the IT company executives surveyed forecast the
index would rise five more points by mid-year.
In other findings, 45 percent of U.S. IT firms plan to
increase spending for new products and business lines. Forty-three percent
expect technology-related investments, which represents a 10--point increase
over the reading in the survey conducted in the third quarter of 2010
Hiring news was also positive, with one in three U.S. IT
companies revealing plans to increase staffing levels over the next six months.
Tim Herbert, vice president of research for CompTIA, said the staffing trends
didn’t indicate IT hiring was out of the woods yet, however. “While the
economic landscape is dramatically improved over a year ago, the employment
situation is still cause for concern,” he cautioned.
In some countries outside the US, sales expectations were
even more robust. Respondents in Brazil, India and China all predicted upside
IT industry revenue growth of 7.5 percent. CompTIA suggested caution on the
sales front, too, however. Although unit sales may rise due to pent-up demand
and hot niches like emerging markets and healthcare, continuing cost
sensitivity may hold prices down.
The survey also highlighted key technology trends for the
year, including cloud computing, which it said would eclipse all other tech
trends. Data proliferation would also provide both challenge and opportunity
for firms that can deal with it, the organization said. Other key technology
trends include mobile and wireless computing, social networking and
CompTIA predicted that VoIP virtual telephony, multi-person
video chat, mobile video conferencing, and related applications would play
leading roles in shaping technology trends this year. Another trend was toward
automation, as organizations sought to trim labor-intensive processes, improve
accuracy and consistency and use data more wisely.
The surveys from which the latest CompTIA IT
Industry Business Confidence Index and 2011 Outlook was drawn took place during
December 2010. Respondents include 1,118 IT companies in the United States as
well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, South
Africa and the United Kingdom.
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