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Oct 29, 2012

CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index Shows Slight Improvement in Q4

Downers Grove, Ill., October 29, 2012 – Modest improvements in several key indicators helped the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index shows modest improvement in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The quarterly survey of business sentiment produced by CompTIA, the leading non-profit association for the IT industry, increased 1.9 percentage points to 56.4 on a 100-point scale. This puts the index higher than its four-year average of 53.5.

“At this time last year the Index was in a slightly downward trajectory; and while it still resides in lukewarm territory, the data suggests the IT industry feels slightly better about conditions year-over-year,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA. “IT industry executives remain bullish about the tech sector and their own firm’s prospects, but nervous about the overall economy.”

The CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index is an aggregation of opinions on the U.S. economy, the IT industry and one’s company. All three components of the Index increased in Q4, reversing across-the-board declines in Q3,

The six-month outlook projects a solid increase of 4 points, driven primarily by expectations of a strengthening macro economy.

While the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index for Q4 increased modestly, it was not accompanied by much improvement in investment intent. In most areas IT industry executives indicate their capital spending, marketing expenditures and other investments will remain on par with Q3. The one exception: hiring intent.

According to the data, 39 percent of IT firms plan to increase hiring of technical positions, such as programmers, network engineers or help-desk specialist, over the next six months. There also are new skills and positions that companies need to fill, in areas such as cloud integration, data analytics and virtualization specialists.

Additionally, 24 percent expect to increase hiring in non-technical areas, such as sales, marketing or HR.

Robinson cautioned, however, that hiring intent does not necessarily lead to actual hiring.

“Any hint of market weakness and hiring plans can quickly be shelved,” he noted. “A CIO may indicate they plan to hire someone, but a change in market conditions may lead the CFO to say no. Staff costs represent one of the largest expenses for most businesses, so in an uncertain economic environment caution is typically the norm.”

Indeed, concern over an unexpected shock – such as a spike in oil prices – more than doubled from 14 percent in the Q3 Index to 32 percent in Q4. Concerns over a stalled economic recovery, weak demand and downward pressure on margins also continue to rate high among survey respondents, though the levels of concern in these areas declined in Q4 from Q3.

The CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index for Q4 2012 is based on an online survey of IT industry executives and professionals conducted in late September and early October. A total of 368 IT companies participated in the survey. The complete report is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the report at www.CompTIA.org or by contacting research@comptia.org.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit www.comptia.org or follow CompTIA at www.facebook.com/CompTIA and twitter.com/comptia.

Steven Ostrowski
Director, Corporate Communications