2010 IT Industry Economic Outlook is Brightening, CompTIA Business Confidence Index Finds

With renewed optimism and strengthening balance sheets, IT execs see opportunities in security, healthcare, green IT and virtualization

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Oakbrook Terrace, IL — January 25, 2010 — The outlook for the IT sector is brightening as an industry confidence index registered its largest jump ever in December 2009, reflecting renewed optimism and strengthening balance sheets among information technology (IT) companies.

The CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index jumped 6.3 points in December, to 56.6, marking the first time net positive opinions exceeded net negative opinions. The December results come on the heels of a relatively stagnant confidence reading for most of 2009.

Over the next six months IT industry executives expect further strengthening of the U.S. economy, the IT industry and their company, according to CompTIA. The group forecasts an additional 6.5 point increase in confidence, moving the rating into a solidly positive range on the 100-point scale.

"Many macroeconomic indicators have improved over the past six months, lending factual support to the positive perceptions of IT executives," said Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA. "Yet some big unknowns still loom, such as unemployment, the impact of public sector debt and the tight lending and credit market. Until these factors start to turn around, exuberance about an economic recovery will rightfully be tempered."

The impact on the IT industry will be evident as executives perform the delicate balancing act of investing in the future, through research and development and new business investments, while at the same time maintaining cutting costs, Herbert said.

Among other positive findings from the December survey, 34 percent of IT executives said they intend to increase capital expenditures in the next six months, compared to 24 percent in September. On the employment front, 31 percent of IT executives plan to increase staffing, up from 24 percent in the September survey.

IT industry executives predict the global IT spending growth rate will be in the 2-4 percent range in 2010, with the U.S. market trailing slightly. Executives are most bullish on IT services, which they predict will grow 2.5-5.5 percent in 2010. When asked about 2010 market opportunities, IT executives are most interested in:

  • Security products and services
  • Healthcare IT market
  • Green IT opportunities
  • Virtualization products and services

Executives surveyed for the index also identified several macro level trends to watch in 2010:

  • 75 percent of executives think the trend of consumer technologies exerting influence on the enterprise will continue to accelerate.
  • 80 percent said businesses will accelerate their use of alternative business applications via a software-as-a service model.
  • 78 percent believe reliance on mobility, telework and virtual offices will grow this year.

CompTIA's IT Industry Business Confidence Index is an aggregation of three metrics: opinions of the U.S. economy, opinions of the IT industry and opinions of one's company. The survey was conducted in mid-December among a sample of more than 300 U.S.-based IT companies, including IT solution providers, value-added resellers, hardware and software firms and others.

The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members at www.CompTIA.org.