IT pros upbeat about 2023 despite the economic gloom

Mass lay-offs at Meta, Amazon, Twitter and Stripe have captured headlines as tech companies slash costs to weather the impacts of inflation and a sluggish economy.

But when CompTIA, the US-based tech industry body surveyed 1,125 IT professionals in the US and around the world last month, it found them optimistic about the tech industry’s prospects in 2023.

Much of that is down to the buoyant level of demand for IT services even in the face of a slowing economy. Digitisation projects continue to attract investment and areas like cloud migration, app development and cybersecurity are seen as essential areas of focus, even with harder times looming.

Gartner estimates that 2023 global IT spending will reach US$4.6 trillion in 2023, a jump of 5.1% over 2022 spending. The contribution of technology to economic growth also shows no signs of abating. The US Department of Commerce found that GDP (gross domestic product) grew by 18% in the US between Q1 of 2020 and Q1 of 2022. Over the same period, the sub-industry representing IT (data processing, internet publishing and other information services) grew by 47%.

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Source: CompTIA

Tech is a force that seems to transcend general economic indicators, even if tech companies face higher operating costs and find it harder to raise capital, just like any other sort of business grappling with inflation, supply chain issues and talent shortages.

IT Professionals in Australia and New Zealand were among the most optimistic about the IT industry’s outlook for 2023, rating the health of the industry 7 out of 10 (1 being terrible, 10 being excellent).

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Source: CompTIA

“Among technology firms in each of the six different geographic regions surveyed by CompTIA, the average rating for the future prospects of the overall technology industry skewed toward the higher end of the scale,” concluded CompTIA, which has a chapter in New Zealand and recently resumed local meet-ups after a Covid-imposed hiatus.

As with last year, nearly 80% of IT professionals in CompTIA’s survey report feeling optimistic about their role, including 38% who feel very optimistic. Those at mid and larger sized companies (100 employees and above) were more optimistic (83%) than those at smaller companies (71%).

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Source: CompTIA

“While intent to hire is still strong (44% of companies expect to hire for technical skills in 2023), internal training remains the dominant option for closing skill gaps (64% of companies expect to train existing employees in 2023),” CompTIA found.

CompTIA’s trends to watch in 2023:

Business As Usual Gets a Hard Reality Check.

Business as usual is no more and doing things as we always have may no longer be the safe option, even for companies that are content with flat or minimal growth. Many technology businesses will have to leave their comfort zone to thrive. That means thoroughly examining and adjusting their current operations, sales and marketing, human resources and strategic innovation efforts.

The evolution of the customer is why these steps are necessary. Customers are as enthusiastic as ever about the role technology plays in their success, but they’re also much more scrutinous and demanding in their tech journey. If you sell technology, the ability to convincingly make a specific business case for every product or service is not just a nice sales differentiator anymore, it is essential.

2. Metaverse Initiatives Will Focus on Holistic Customer Experiences.

Instead of viewing the metaverse as a new VR-based phase of the internet, it might be more accurate to view it as an extension of omnichannel customer experiences. As organisations build their own metaverse for their customers, there will be less focus on headsets and virtual real estate and more focus on building depth in customer relationships and creating connections between the many digital experiences a customer might choose.

3. Worker-employer Relationship Gaps Expose New Challenges in Hiring and Retaining Tech Talent 

Employers will be tested to fill positions with workers skilled in new and emerging tech disciplines and support roles, while balancing a newly empowered workforce and macroeconomic uncertainty.

4. Cloud Acceleration Drives Demand for Orchestration and FinOps 

Acceleration in cloud computing adoption has led to most organizations taking on a cloud-first approach. The next stage of adoption will focus on handling the complexity of a multi-cloud environment.

5. New Players in Digital Ecosystem Put More Competitive Pressure on Established Practices 

Today’s era of choice explosion and decision fatigue in the tech marketplace will prod both new and established players to up their game to stand out among the rest.

6. Vendors and Partners Eye Greater Automation With Optimism – and Concern 

Tech vendors and their partners will need to work together to find automation comfort zones that are efficient and connected rather than disconnected and cumbersome.

7. Cybersecurity Metrics Are Tied to Evolving Risk Analysis Approach 

Risk analysis has grown in popularity as a way for organizations to measure progress in cybersecurity. But most firms are not yet performing analysis in a comprehensive way. That will change, driven heavily by ongoing digital transformation.

8. Inflation Uncertainty and Supply Chain Issues Continue to Complicate Sales Forecasting 

A confluence of economic factors has found countries and companies grappling with high inflation rates not seen in decades. In 2023 companies will have a much-diminished ability to forecast sales accurately quarter to quarter.

9. Decentralized Identity Will Become the Heart of Web3 Efforts

The noise around Web3 will continue in 2023, but the key area to focus on is the evolution of digital identity.

10. Advances in AI Spur Debate Over the Future of Tech in Society 

Simply understanding how to use a piece of technology is becoming inadequate. Responsible use now entails some knowledge on how the technology functions and what societal impact it might have.

Source: ITP New Zealand Tech Blog

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