Tech Companies are Optimistic About Growth but There Are Roadblocks
By: Chelsea Babin
IT executives express growing confidence in their companies and it’s spilling over into hiring. The latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index stands at 61.3 on a 100-point scale, growing from 60.2 in the first quarter. This optimism is felt throughout the IT industry, but a few small details are hindering Tech Company’s potential growth.
Disruptive technologies and business models have some in the IT industry concerned. There is always a race to be the most innovative and cutting edge in IT, but accelerated rates of change and companies whose goal is to disrupt entire industries have the rest of the IT sector scrambling so as not to fall behind.
Where there’s growth, there’s also decay. Cloud computing and mobility are key areas in the booming IT industry that have, according to Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTia, “such far-reaching impacts…firms across the IT channel are still working through how best to meet the needs of their customers and their business.” The challenge of implementing these new technologies to stay ahead of the curve and retrain or replace IT professionals with older, less relevant tech experience is certainly hindering the IT industry’s potential growth.
One-third of surveyed companies expressing that they’re understaffed and forty two percent are looking hire as they expand. With a multitude of openings across the country in IT, competition for qualified candidates is getting fierce. The majority of new positions created by the surveyed companies were technical but fifty-seven percent said it’s more difficult to find technical workers with the right skills and expertise than non-technical workers.
This added challenge may dissipate slightly in the coming years according to a report from the Computing Research Association which found that the number of new undergraduate computing majors rose to 13.4 percent, continuing the trend in growth over the past six periods. While these numbers are not as promising as in years before—growth of nearly 30 percent in 2011-12—numbers seem to be rising as the financial industry’s reputation declines. Some mathematically inclined students are being swayed into the tech industry from business, and that will be good news in the coming years.
In the current market however, talent is tight and the industry is still feeling the strain of a lack of U.S. tech talent. Many more tech companies are relaxing their degree policies and hiring self-taught IT Professionals, which marginally expands the pool of talent. A lack of confidence in the available talent pool isn’t enough to drive confidence in tech companies down, but it’s certainly dampening the IT industry’s optimism in 2014.