Technology Professionals Eye Potential Economic Recovery

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Technology professionals saw a ray of optimism heading into 2010, registering the highest level of confidence yet in the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index. Trends include continuing security deployments, virtualization, green IT and the consumerization of IT.

IT executives are more optimistic headed into 2010, but the business world is different and their spending habits on new technology may be different as well.

That's according to the most recent edition of CompTIA's IT Industry Business Confidence Index taken from a survey of IT professionals—including in-house IT and VARs—in December about their expectations for spending, strategic technologies and the trends shaping IT in the years ahead.

The survey, only conducted since mid-2009, showed the sharpest rise in optimism among IT executives since it began, according to Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA. Herbert notes that CompTIA began conducting the survey to get a better handle on the changes going on in the economy and in technology spending.

"Companies weren't seeing any true signs of recovery in 2009 and they weren't seeing things getting worse," Herbert says. "There was a sense of moving along without any directional change up or down."

But the survey in December revealed some rays of hope among IT professionals. And getting more granular, the survey showed that top technologies targeted for deployment continue to include security products and services and virtualization, but that VARs are also looking to the health care IT vertical market and to "green" IT.

Other major trends included the following: 75 percent of executives think the consumerization of IT will continue to accelerate, 80 percent said businesses will accelerate their use of alternative business productivity applications via a software-as-a service model and 78 percent said they believe reliance on mobility, telework and virtual offices will grow this year.

Herbert says midsize businesses—defined as those with between $20 million and $100 million in revenue—showed the greatest degree of optimism.

"They are still small enough to be nimble," he says. "They tend to react faster than a large corporation."

Overall, the survey's results could be viewed as good news.

"Clearly this is the most positive indicator we have received since running this confidence index," he tells Channel Insider, adding that part of the positive sentiment may be reaction to some macroeconomic indicators that point to recovery.

"But while things have improved, there is still a sense of cautious optimism," Herbert says. And IT executives acknowledge they are still concerned about the potential for a stalled recovery, as well as high unemployment numbers, low consumer spending and other factors.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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