While the CompTIA Industry Business Confidence Index remains virtually unchanged for the fourth quarter, there are concerns about how government gridlock is impacting attitudes of IT execs.
The Index comes in at 58.1 on a 100-point scale for the fourth quarter, compared to 57.9 in quarter three and 58.0 in the second quarter. The index predicts a gain of two percentage points over the next two quarters.
One of the more notable changes occurred in sentiment about the overall economy; it fell 1.1 percentage points in the latest numbers, its first drop in more than a year.
"Up until this point, IT industry executives viewed the economy as progressing steadily towards stability and modest growth," said Elizabeth Hyman, vice president of public advocacy at CompTIA. "A portion of the concern can certainly be attributed to the impasse in Washington and the shutdown of the federal government."
Concern for the government's action (or lack thereof) and its impact on the overall economy jumped from 31 percent in the third quarter to 42 percent in the fourth.
"One in four IT companies does regular business with some branch of government," added Hyman. "The federal government alone purchases more than $80 billion in technology each year, so the effect of a shutdown directly impacts the bottom line of these companies. There's also the potential for a longer-term impact if federal departments and agencies are unable to plan for and allocate current and future IT resources. The technology companies and workers they're doing business with will be in limbo too. There will be hesitancy to hire people."