The IT industry is likely to experience moderate growth in 2014, according to the IT Industry Outlook 2014 released today by CompTIA.
CompTIA's consensus forecast projects a 2014 growth rate of 3.4 percent for the global IT industry, with upside potential of 5.9 percent. The U.S forecast is slightly lower: 3 percent, with upside potential of 5.4 percent.
By comparison, a recent United Nations forecast projected global economic growth at 3 percent worldwide and 2.5 percent in the U.S. for 2014. CompTIA's quarterly IT Industry Business Confidence Index increased 2.1 percentage points in Q1 2014, to 60.2 on a 100-point scale. The forward-looking component of the index projects a gain of 2.2 points, which, if realized, would mark a record high in the five-plus year history of the survey.
This dovetails with what vendors and retailers were saying at the National Retail Federation's BIG Show Jan. 12-15. "We see spending in 2014 at the top of the agenda," said Oracle President Mark Hurd, during a round table discussion. Fifty-eight percent of IT budgets this year will increase, with 3.4 percent of revenue spent on IT, according to Oracle.
The rising importance of IT in retail given the priorities of security and the omnichannel experience, are forcing retailers to shift investment to systems.
"The importance of technology to business success has never been greater as IT continues to transition from supporting tool to a strategic driver," said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA.
A range of technologies – cloud computing, mobile apps, big data and others – have gained a bigger foothold with customers over the past two years, he noted, though rising industry business confidence is offset to some degree by margin pressures in key product categories.
Looking ahead to 2014, IT services and software show the most growth potential, according to the CompTIA forecast. IT hardware is projected to grow at a slightly lower rate, due partially to more intense margin pressure.
CompTIA views 2014 as a year of momentum and continuation, as incremental advancements in several areas make their marks on the producers and consumers of technology. Macro trends include technology becoming a core competency for more businesses, mass customization will get more sophisticated, processes and workflow will get a makeover and technology will increasingly be embraced as the remote control of life.
Twelve trends to watch in 2014.
1. Technology becomes a core competency for more businesses.
2. Mass customization gets more sophisticated.
3. Processes and workflow get a makeover.
4. Technology is increasingly embraced as the remote control of life.
1. Cloud wars intensify.
2. Diverse devices flood the market.
3. Big data has a little sibling.
4. Software's appetite is not satisfied.
IT Channel Trends
1. When it comes to your channel business, it's OK to stay in two lanes.
2. Time to rebrand the "trusted advisor."
3. Back to basics: Reinvesting in technical expertise.
4. Channel dynamics: Partner or competitor?
-See this CompTIA press release
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