IT executives are expecting a modest uptick in business for 2012, but the outlook doesn't appear to hold a drastic difference from last year, according to new research from CompTIA.
The latest IT Industry Outlook projects a worldwide IT industry growth rate of 4.5 percent in 2012, with upside potential of 7.6 percent. The forecast for the U.S. market is slightly lower, with IT industry executives most bullish on IT services and software sales.
At the same time, the quarterly CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index for the first quarter remains flat, inching up to 52.1 on a 100-point scale from 51.9 during 2011's fourth quarter. The index aggregates three metrics: opinions of the U.S. economy, the IT industry and one’s company. The first component – the economy – continues to negatively impact the overall reading. The spread between the rating of the economy and the rating of the IT industry has consistently exceeded 16 points.
“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," said Tim Herbert, CompTIA's vice president of research. “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."
Meanwhile, in its 2012 outlook for the IT industry, CompTIA identified trends to watch. Among the most important: cloud computing, mobility and social technologies. These will even become more capable, business-ready and disruptive, according to CompTIA.