IT INDUSTRY OUTLOOK 2017 – 2020
The future is now. With increasing frequency, this assertion seems to find its way into commentary addressing the state of technology. Recent advances have made the leap from what is typically characterized as interesting or cool to what can only be described as mind-blowing. Comp TIA has described the evolution of IT in three stages: the mainframe era, the PC/Internet era, and the cloud/mobile era. There are many factors that define distinct as, but the end result is a new foundational platform that supports new tools and techniques. The headline-making breaches of the past three years have not put companies out of business, and research studies show that most firms are not fully prepared for a cyber-attack. Unfortunately, the event that creates a tipping point will need to have greater consequences before there is a broad shift in transforming security technology, processes, and education. The transition will take time, though. The pace of technology has accelerated, but the complexity of IOT and the regulations and protocols required for integration will drive a long adoption cycle. The breadth of potential applications has allowed many companies to get their feet wet in this space, and the lessons learned from cloud initiatives will help businesses consider security implications and hidden costs as they continue dis covering the benefits of connected systems. In A Functional IT Framework, Comp TIA found four primary domains that form the overall IT function: Infrastructure, Development, Security, and Data. Channel firms are becoming more finicky when it comes to partner program tastes. Workforce dynamics continue to evolve. Many factors play a role: basic demographic shifts, the growth of telecommuting and remote work arrangements, and more team-oriented organizational hierarchies. Characterized as the variance between what employers expect and need from their workers and what the labor force is able to deliver, skills gap is a seemingly straightforward concept. Below the surface, however, there are many nuances to the story. Given the breadth and pace of innovation, all signs point to a widening skills gap in many areas and for more types of workers. However, there is a big difference between knowing that strategic IT is needed and being able to implement it. Very few companies are “extremely confident” in their ability to apply modern technology to their business goals, with the smallest firms trailing medium-size and larger corporations in their internal assessments. The global IT industry surpassed $3.4 trillion in 2016, according to the research consultancy IDC. If growth expectations materialize, the industry will push past the $3.5trillion mark in the year ahead. The U.S. market features a large installed base of hardware, software and services. Not that telecom services are unimportant in the United States, but rather the spending on the aforementioned categories is much higher relative to the global benchmark. In the U.S. market, IT services and software capture larger shares compared to the global market: 25 percent vs. 19 percent and 21 percent vs. 13percent, respectively. After several quarters of sluggishness, Comp TIA’s IT Industry Business Confidence Index sprang to life with a jump of 6.5points heading into 2017. All three components of the Index experienced gains, propelling the BCI to a record high. Executives from large vendors to small solution providers shared similar levels of positive sentiment, reflecting an industry on solid footing. On the macroeconomic front, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a notable uptick in U.S. GDP growth: a 3.5percent annualized growth rate during the third quarter. This closely parallels the growth projection from the IMF. The organization forecasts global economic growth of 3.4 percent in 2017. According to IT industry executives, the factors most likely to contribute to reaching the upside of the forecasts include reaching new customer segments, a pick-up in business from existing customers, and successfully launching and selling new product lines. All workers employed by technology companies represent tech industry employment. At the time of publication, final 2016 data was not yet available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics. Based on available data, it appears about 130,000 new tech occupation jobs were created during the year, yielding a year-over-year growth rate of 2.5 percent. This was slightly lower than the 2015 growth rate of 3.1 percent. Look in a head to 2017, preliminary estimates suggest a growth rate on par with 2016. Forty-one percent of U.S. IT firms report having job opening sand actively recruiting candidates. Seventeen percent believe hiring will be significantly more challenging in 2017, while 30 percent expect it will be moderately more challenging. The remaining group expect the hiring landscape to be similar or slightly better than2016. Every industry sector has a mechanism to get products and services to their customers’ hands. While some producers or manufacturers of goods sell direct to customers, most rely on intermediaries, or indirect channels, that can more efficiently or effectively deliver products and services to customers. Comp TIA publishes 20+ studies per year, adding to an archive of more than100 research reports, briefs, case Comp TIA has an extensive catalog of Quick Start Sessions, Executive Certificate Programs, Playbook Workshops, and Vender & Distributor Education studies, ecosystems, and more. The Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) is a non-profit trade association serving as the voice of the information technology industry. With approximately 2,000-member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners, 80,000 registered users and more than two million IT certifications issued, Comp TIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy.