Is IT Hiring on the Upswing for the Latter Half of 2010?
A majority of IT industry firms expect revenues during the second half of 2010 to outpace the first six months of the year, according to the latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index. Six in 10 IT firms in the study expect revenues in Q3 and Q4 to significantly or moderately exceed revenues in Q1 and Q2.
The study was fielded via an online survey to a sample of 306 U.S. information technology companies during mid June 2010.
Despite the slow and unsteady economic recovery, IT industry executives also express optimism for the future. The CompTIA survey panel expects the Business Confidence Index to increase 5.4 points over the next six months.
“IT industry executives remain relatively confident about the tech sector and about their firm’s prospects, but concern over the health of the U.S. economy persists,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. “In some ways, the results point to a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ mentality, where positive news and momentum are followed by unexpected bad news and a renewed sense of negativity about economic conditions.”
An encouraging sign from the report suggests that employment may finally be on the mend. Intent to increase staffing levels jumped seven points, translating to 37 percent of IT firms expecting to increase hiring over the next six months.
“Among those planning to add staff, the top positions to fill include programmers, developers, support staff and help desk, sales staff, project managers and network engineers,” Herbert noted.
For IT firms still in a hiring holding pattern, 47 percent say they are fully staffed but would like to add new employees in order to expand their business. Conversely, 53 percent of these firms indicate they are understaffed by between 5 percent and 20 percent.
IT industry executives are considerably less concerned about the threat of a stalled recovery, weak consumer demand, access to credit and capital and competition from overseas firms compared to six months ago.
Smaller tech firms continue to express greater nervousness about the economy and their firm’s prospects relative to large tech companies. Access to credit and capital is still tight for small firms, so any significant cash flow disruption — such as delayed payments from customers — or a need for financing — new contracts — can be catastrophic.