Downers Grove, Ill. – Technology companies continue to see customer interest in cybersecurity, cloud computing and other areas, perhaps indicating that the business environment is stabilizing, according to a new survey by CompTIA, the nonprofit trade association for the global tech industry.
The percentage of tech firms that reported receiving new customers inquiries and business opportunities was 84% in June and 83% in April, up from 76% in March.
“There remains much uncertainty about the pandemic’s impact moving forward, but it’s a hopeful sign that technology is viewed as a solution to help businesses navigate through these uncertain times,” said Nancy Hammervik, executive vice president for industry relations at CompTIA.
Customers are most interested in cybersecurity-related products and services (cited by 42% of tech firms surveyed), shifting on-premise infrastructure or applications to the cloud (42%), managed and outsourced IT services (40%), and general consulting help on how to “go virtual” (40%).
Another potentially positive indicator in the survey results is in the area of staffing. The percentage of companies that reported making staffing changes has leveled off – 56% in June compared to 58% in the last survey. Among firms that have acted:
“Companies also reported taking positive steps in training employees in technical areas such as cybersecurity, networking, programming and tech support, as well as in ‘soft skill’ areas like communications and customer service,” said Amy Carrado, senior director for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “Taking advantage of any downtime in business activity to upskill employees is likely to pay off for these firms as customer engagements increase.”
CompTIA surveyed 231 executives from its member advisory councils and communities on how their companies have been impacted by COVID-19The latest survey, conducted between June 1 and 5, is the third monthly member poll since the pandemic caused disruptions to life and business.
In the June survey 52% of executives are feeling optimistic, 42% are hanging in there and 6% are hurting and in a difficult situation. These results are virtually unchanged from the previous survey.
A large majority of companies (84%) have been impacted by the pandemic. The most common scenarios include the cancellation or postponement of orders by some customers (58% of firms, unchanged from late April), or customers requesting a restructuring of contract or payment terms (46%, up slightly from 41%).
Companies are nearly unanimous (94%) in their belief that their business will change for the long term. The most frequently cited change is allowing more employees to continue to work remotely (65% of respondents). Other anticipated shifts include relying more on social and digital marketing rather than traditional methods (48%) and permanently reducing business travel (47%).
Some of these actions are being implemented now, at least according to comments provided by survey respondents. For example:
Among U.S. companies surveyed 44% have applied for a Payment Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration. Managed service providers and technology solutions providers accounted for about three-quarters of the companies surveyed that sought financial assistance from the federal government.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5.2 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.