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1 - Security, Skills Gap Concerns Dampen IT OutlookSecurity, Skills Gap Concerns Dampen IT Outlook

A sweeping report from CompTIA paints a bright future for IT spending and hiring but shows rising concerns about cyber-security among business and IT execs.

2 - Improving Business ConditionsImproving Business Conditions

62% of global execs said business conditions are improving, but in the United States, the number is even higher at 69%.

3 - Tech Spending Is UpTech Spending Is Up

In the U.S, 15% of firms expect technology spending to increase by at least 10% while 74% anticipate it will increase by 1% to 9% in 2015.

4 - Top Business Priorities IdentifiedTop Business Priorities Identified

Reaching new customers (66%), reducing costs and overhead (54%), and improving staff productivity (48%) were among the top priorities identified in the U.S. for 2015.

5 - Growing Cyber-Security ThreatGrowing Cyber-Security Threat

While 73% of U.S. executives said cyber-security threats are on the rise, 51% describe human error as a growing factor.

6 - Cause for Cyber-Security ConcernsCause for Cyber-Security Concerns

37% of U.S. execs see the greater interconnectivity of devices, systems and users as a growing concern, while 33% view the increasing reliance on Internet-based applications as problematic.

7 - Additional Threat FactorsAdditional Threat Factors

Some 31% of U.S. execs see the rise of social media as another threat to cyber-security while 34% are concerned by the greater availability of easy-to-use hacking tools.

8 - Human Error MattersHuman Error Matters

12% of U.S. execs said that human error plays a significantly more important role in security breaches while 47% said human error as a factor has not changed.

9 - Mind the Skills GapMind the Skills Gap

87% of U.S execs said that IT skills gaps exist in their organizations, resulting in lower staff productivity and shortfalls in innovation; 53% describe these skills gaps as somewhat extensive, but 35% describe them as small.

10 - Training and Certification Are ImportantTraining and Certification Are Important

In the past 12 months, 94% of U.S. IT personnel took some sort of IT training, while 70% of U.S. executives said they expect certification to grow in importance over the next two years.

11 - Managing IT Functions InternallyManaging IT Functions Internally

In the U.S., 48% of respondents have an IT department with IT specialists, while 36% have IT staff but not as part of a dedicated department.

12 - Turning to Outside Firms for IT HelpTurning to Outside Firms for IT Help

30% of all U.S. organizations periodically use an outside firm for IT projects or work, while 10% regularly outsource IT functions through managed services.

13 - IT Function Management by SizeIT Function Management by Size

63% of large firms (those with more than 500 employees) have a formal IT department with dedicated IT specialists on staff, compared with 55% of midsize companies (with 100 to 499 employees).

14 - Smaller Firms Look to More Outside SupportSmaller Firms Look to More Outside Support

Nearly four in 10 (or 39% of) small firms (with 100 to 499 people) have their own IT departments with dedicated specialists, while 17% regularly outsource their IT needs.

15 - Drivers of IT SolutionsDrivers of IT Solutions

54% of U.S. companies said they look to IT solutions and service providers for help repairing or troubleshooting IT problems, while 46% seek help with deployment, installation or integration.

16 - Other Solutions DriversOther Solutions Drivers

Web design (39%), cyber-security matters (28%) and advisory services (33%) are additional reasons U.S. firms seek outside help. Telecom, cloud computing and mobile app development were viewed as lower-priority needs.

17 - Upcoming Technology PrioritiesUpcoming Technology Priorities

In the U.S., 54% of respondents said data storage/backup is the top priority for the next 12 months while 53% identify IT security as a top priority.