CompTIA yesterday released its IT Industry Business Confidence Index, which has held steady in Q3, coming in at 57.9 on a 100-point scale compared to a 58.0 reading in Q2. The Index is a measurement of technology business sentiment produced for the past five years by CompTIA, the leading non-profit association for the IT industry.
The forward-looking component of the Index projects a gain of 2.7 percentage points over the next two quarters.
Of the Index’s three components, assessment of the overall U.S. economy continues to lag: 48.3 vs. 62.0 for the overall IT industry and 62.7 for respondents’ own company.
At the midpoint of 2013, the smallest IT firms (fewer than 10 employees) voiced the most concern about business prospects. Forty percent of micro IT firms reported lagging revenue during the first half of the year, compared to 17 percent reporting revenue tracking ahead of goals.
Across technology companies of all sizes, 23 percent are tracking revenue ahead of goals for 2013. Firms in the 10-99 employee range were the most bullish (30 percent), followed by medium companies (21 percent) and large businesses (20 percent).
The Q3 Index also reveals IT industry executives are concerned about price sensitive customers who may be hesitant to spend. Nearly half of the firms surveyed (48 percent) cited this as a concern over the next six months.
Additionally, IT executives express relatively high levels of concern over downward margin pressure (32 percent of companies surveyed); unexpected shocks, such as a natural disaster or spike in oil prices (32 percent); and government regulation (31 percent).
On the investment front, IT companies 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.