There's some up and down news coming out of the latest IT Industry Business Confidence Index from CompTIA.
The association said this week that its latest Index, which measures technology business sentiment, held steady in the third quarter, coming in at 57.9 on a 100-point scale, compared to a 58 reading in the second quarter.
But findings show that executives are concerned about customers' hesitation to spend money. Nearly half (48 percent) of the firms surveyed cited this as a concern over the next six months.
Indeed, by mid-2013, the smallest IT firms, those with fewer than 10 employees, were the most worried about business prospects. Forty percent reported lagging revenue during the first half of the year, compared to 17 percent who said their revenue was tracking ahead of goals. High unemployment, overseas volatility and the unknown impact of Federal Reserve monetary policy all are hampering the economy component of the CompTIA Index, said Tim Herbert, vice president for research and market intelligence.
To that point, besides sales fears, one-third (32 percent) of respondents also are concerned about pressure on margins, unexpected shocks such as natural disasters or spikes in oil prices (32 percent) and government regulation (31 percent).
Still, many companies don't seem to be letting fears get the better of growth. CompTIA found that IT-industry organizations expect to boost spending over the next six months in two key areas: new products or business lines, and staffing in technical positions, such as network engineers and app developers. Big data appears to be one driver for such initiatives.