IT Firms Optimistic About 2012
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IT companies are showing tempered optimism about business prospects over the next 12 months, new research shows.
The study by CompTIA, a nonprofit association for the IT industry, projects a worldwide IT industry growth rate of 4.5 percent in 2012, with upside potential of 7.6 percent.
"We may see modest improvement in 2012, but it likely won't be drastically different from 2011," said Tim Herbert, vice president of research for CompTIA.
The nonprofit group's quarterly index of confidence in the industry as a whole remains relatively flat this year, up just slightly from the fourth quarter of 2011.
The economy component of the index, which also measures opinions of the IT industry and individual companies, continues to negatively impact the overall confidence rating, according to the report.
"The 'two steps forward, one step backward' pattern experienced during much of 2011 has conditioned many businesses to expect a dose of bad news with any good news," Herbert said. "Among IT firms, concerns about weak consumer and corporate demand, downward pressure on margins; access to capital, and government regulation continue to weigh on business confidence."
The annual report also identified a number of industry-wide trends expected to take shape in 2012.
Among them is the automation and elimination of the middleman in new areas, further reducing layers of complexity while improving efficiencies.
The report also predicts cloud computing, mobility and social technologies will become more capable, more business-ready and more disruptive in 2012, while big data will get even bigger and more usable.
According to the study, better data management, mining and predictive analytics tools will enable businesses to increasingly realize more benefits from the volumes of data they’ve collected but have been previously unable to efficiently use.
The continued economic uncertainty is forcing many in the IT industry to take a closer look at how they do business. The study revealed that many IT firms continue to explore business transformation options, such as transitioning from transactional product and service sales to a recurring revenue model.
CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2012 is based on surveys of executives and professionals from 500 IT industry firms worldwide.
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who spent 10 years working as a newspaper reporter before working in public relations. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.