High Expectations, New Challenges Ahead for Information Technology Industry

Staff Report

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Strong customer demand for business-changing technologies, coupled with the emergence of new disruptive software and services, have raised information technology industry executives' confidence about 2018 business prospects, according to a new report released today by CompTIA, the leading technology industry association.

CompTIA's "IT Industry Outlook 2018" projects growth of 5 percent across the global tech sector this year. Growth in the U.S. market is expected to follow suit.

Consistent with the higher year-over-year growth projection, CompTIA's "IT Industry Business Confidence Index" sits near its all-time high. The data indicates the positive sentiment is generally broad based, with executives from the largest tech bellwethers to the smallest managed service providers expecting favorable business conditions to continue.

"Beyond strong economic fundamentals, the growth story revolves around the spending associated with companies entering new phases of digital transformation," said Tim Herbert, CompTIA's senior vice president for research and market intelligence.

"CEOs and boardrooms across every industry sector in the economy are waking up to the fact that inaction or even incrementalism may be inadequate in the face of rapidly changing business dynamics brought on by the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and related emerging technologies."

The report also identifies factors that could slow growth or temper optimism. One such factor is the evolving labor market for technology professionals. Employer demand for tech talent will continue to outstrip supply, forcing organizations to rethink their approaches to recruiting, training and managing talent.

"Additionally, the trends unfolding in the year ahead will do so in an environment of high expectations; namely, for business value, security, transparency, and equal access to opportunity," Herbert noted.

CompTIA's 12 Trends to Watch in 2018

  1. The Democratization of Technology Leads to Breakthrough Models

  2. Cloud Enters New Phase of Maturity

  3. Internet of Things Expands Technology Footprints

  4. Artificial Intelligence Adds a New Layer to the Solution Stack

  5. Businesses Adjust to the New Normal of Security

  6. Growing Up: Tech May No Longer be Given the Benefit of the Doubt

  7. The Insights Economy Comes Into Focus

  8. Businesses Race to Upgrade Digital Expertise in the Boardroom

  9. 'New Collar' Jobs Mindset Gains Momentum, but Challenges Persist

  10. Online Marketplace: Friend or Foe of the Channel

  11. Subscription Pricing Gets Harder to Figure Out

  12. Primed and Ready for the As-a-Service World

"We've singled out some of the forces that are likely to have a notable impact on the IT industry and the customers it serves," Herbert explained. "Some of these trends, such as cybersecurity and workforce challenges, have been present for several years, but there are new nuances to consider. Other trends are just emerging or are on the cusp of greater prominence as new solutions have come to market, customers become more receptive to new concepts or some other change to the tech landscape."