Key Trends Impacting the IT Industry in 2011

Downers Grove, Ill. — Feb. 7

The latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index points to renewed optimism and a strengthening economy. The index — an average of sentiment about the economy, IT industry and individual companies — jumped seven points in December. At 60 on a 100-point scale, the index is now at its highest point since its inception.

Data from the global survey of more than 1,100 IT companies suggests momentum will continue. IT company executives forecast an additional five-point increase in confidence over the next six months to 65, moving the rating into a solidly positive range.

“After several quarters of lackluster performance, an improving CompTIA confidence index should be welcome news to companies eager for economic stability,” said Tim Herbert, vice president of research for CompTIA.

With improving balance sheets and less market uncertainty, business investments are expected to pick up.

The CompTIA study found that 45 percent of U.S. IT firms plan increases in expenditures on new products and business lines, while 43 percent plan technology-related investments, a 10-point increase over the third-quarter reading. On the hiring front, 1 in 3 U.S. IT companies indicated they plan to increase staffing levels over the next six months.

“While the economic landscape is dramatically improved over a year ago, the employment situation is still cause for concern,” Herbert said.

Mirroring improved business sentiment, global IT industry sales are also expected to see a lift.

CompTIA projects global IT industry spending growth of 4 percent in 2011, with growth potential of 6 percent. IT companies expect slightly higher growth in the areas of IT services and software as well as in the enterprise market. Reflecting their fast-growing economies, respondents in Brazil, India and China are especially bullish with their forecasts, predicting IT industry revenue growth of 7.5 percent.

Pent-up demand for IT products and services — along with robust sales in emerging markets and certain industries, such as health care — are expected to drive industry growth in 2011.

CompTIA identified several key technology trends that will impact the IT industry in 2011:

• Cloud computing will continue to eclipse all other major tech trends this year and demand the attention of users, vendors and the channel.
• Information proliferation poses a challenge to users but also an opportunity for technology service providers and users who can cull actionable business insights from their data.
• Mobile and wireless scenarios are increasingly crucial to doing business.
• Anytime, anywhere work — the rapid adoption of smart phones or mobile devices and social networking drive this trend.
• Businesses will build on VoIP and embrace presence, virtual telephony, multi-person video chat, mobile video conference and related applications.
• Automation will increase. Organizations want to reduce the burden of labor-intensive processes, improve accuracy and consistency, and generate better use of data.

The CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index and 2011 Outlook study was fielded during December 2010 to 1,118 IT companies in the United States and around the world. Other countries covered in the study include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

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CertMag Staff

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