For years, IT operations have been running tight and overworked. While the economy at large continues to struggle, it seems things have eased up a bit for IT shops-- two new industry surveys find IT directors have grown increasingly bullish about growth prospects of their departments and businesses.
The latest CompTIA IT business confidence index, a quarterly survey, finds most of the 433 IT executives see improving economic fundamentals and solid customer demand for IT products and services.
Another quarterly survey of 1,500 IT executives, conducted by TEKsystems, finds more more than a third anticipate increases in both permanent (40%) and temporary (37%) IT headcount in 2012.
Not clear from the surveys is what areas are in most in demand. It can be assumed that business intelligence and analytics, increased consumerization, mobile and cloud dominate business wish lists.
CompTIA's survey recorded a gain of 4.6 points to 56.7 on a 100-point scale during Q2. The Index – an aggregation of opinions on the US economy, the IT industry and one’s company – is now at its highest level in more than a year. Looking ahead, IT industry executives expect momentum to continue, leading to incremental gains in the index and the potential to push sentiment further into positive territory in 2012.
Of those IT leaders in the TEKsystems expecting to increase permanent and temporary IT headcount, 15% intend to boost hiring by more than five percent. Senior IT leaders -- CIOs and IT vice presidents -- are most optimistic about IT hiring this year, with 54% and 43% expecting increases in permanent and temporary IT headcount, respectively. CIOs are also the most hopeful in terms of IT spending in 2012 -- with almost 60% anticipating growths in infrastructure (58%) and applications (57%) spending.
Executives in the CompTIA were most bullish about prospects for their own companies -- company sentiment improved by 6 percentage points to 68%. The IT industry is up 12 points to 66% net positive. Respondents were least bullish on prospects for the U.S. economy at large -- net positive sentiment improved by 11 percentage points, to 21%.
At least 43% of IT firms in the CompTIA survey plan to increase their level of investment in new products and business lines over the next six months. Additionally, 42% plan to increase investment in their technology, such as building out a cloud data center or upgrading a professional service automation solution.