Thursday, November 13, 2014

CompTIA: IT Industry Business Confidence Bounces Back

Nov 11, 2014 Michael Cusanelli | Business Acceleration Infocenter  The VAR Guy

CompTIA's latest IT Industry Business Confidence Index shows executives are more optimistic about their prospects than at any other time this year.

Tim Herbert, vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA

IT executives are more confident about the success of the industry, their own companies and the U.S. economy than at any other point this year, according to CompTIA. Reports of the IT industry’s renewed optimism come from the recently publishedCompTIA Industry Business Confidence Index, which rose to 62.1 on a 100-point scale, making Q4 the highest quarter of 2014.

“The gains in this quarter’s IT Industry Business Confidence Index can likely be attributed to several factors,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA, in a statement. “Economic growth has been steady, though unremarkable; IT employment remains robust; and the wave of innovation that started several years ago continues to generate strong demand from buyers.”

This quarter’s index took into account responses from 291 U.S. IT industry companies of all sizes in a mid-October online survey, according to CompTIA. The results of the latest Index, while relatively modest considering the points range, rose 2 points from last quarter’s meager 60.1 point measurement, signaling an increasing amount of confidence among IT companies.

The Index’s forward-looking component projects an additional 3 point gain, which suggests industry executives feel generally positive about business prospects over the next six months, according to the study. However, CompTIA was quick to note that the survey was conducted before the mid-term elections earlier this month, so it doesn’t account for any potential changes brought on by the election’s outcome.

“The survey results parallel the sentiment among many IT companies that there are opportunities on many fronts,” said MJ Shoer, chairman of the CompTIA Board of Directors. “Companies with the right mix of technical and business expertise are benefiting from strong customer demand for cloud solutions, managed IT services and security support, to name a few.”

While IT execs are more confident in their prospects than at any other point this year, there are some concerns that continue to negatively affect growth, according to CompTIA. Forty-five percent of respondents report concern over whether price-sensitive customers are hesitant to spend money on major purchases, and an additional 38 percent are worried about downward pressure on margins—a figure that jumped 8 percentage points from CompTIA’s Q3 survey.

“Downward trending prices and commoditization are ever-present realities of doing business in the technology sector,” Herbert noted. “This is great for customers, but can present challenges for IT companies, especially those not equipped to wrap services and solutions around their offerings.”

It’s important to remember that these concerns, while certainly valid, are among several concerns that plague IT experts on a regular basis. And with the holiday season just around the corner and a new fiscal year on the horizon for many companies, sales are almost guaranteed to increase slightly—the next few months are sure to be bright for the industry as a whole.

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