Job, Revenue Growth Eyed by Some IT Firms: CompTIA

Sixty percent of IT firms expect to see revenues in the second half of 2010 exceed those in the first half, and 37 percent expect to increase hiring, a CompTIA survey says.

About one in six IT companies expect revenues in the second half of 2010 to come in higher than in the first six months of the year, according to a report released July 8 by CompTIA.

According to CompTIA's IT Industry Business Confidence Index, 60 percent of tech firms surveyed expect third- and fourth-quarter revenues to be significantly or moderately better than those in the first and second quarters.

This despite what CompTIA termed "the slow and unsteady economic recovery" following the worldwide recession of last year.

"IT industry executives remain relatively confident about the tech sector and about their firm's prospects, but concern over the health of the U.S. economy persists," Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA, said in a statement. "In some ways the results point to a -two steps forward, one step back' mentality, where positive news and momentum are followed by unexpected bad news and a renewed sense of negativity about economic conditions."

There also seems to be some positive movement on the job front, which has been a key weakness of the overall economic recovery. According to CompTIA, 37 percent of IT companies in its survey expect to ramp up their hiring in the next six months.

Of the other firms, 47 percent said that while they are fully staffed, they'd like to add workers to help grow their businesses. The other 53 percent said they are understaffed by 5 to 20 percent.

"Among those planning to add staff, the top positions to fill include programmers, developers, support staff and help desk, sales staff, project managers and network engineers," Herbert said.

The optimism in the industry is also illustrated by the fact that executives with IT companies are less concerned than they were six months ago about such issues as the economic recovery stalling, weak consumer demand, access to credit and capital, and competition from companies overseas.

According to CompTIA's survey, fear of a stalled recovery dropped from 58 percent in December 2009 to 46 percent in June. In addition, 40 percent now say they fear weak consumer demand, compared with 56 percent in December 2009. The worry over access to credit and capital fell from 41 percent to 26 percent.

The anxiety over the economy and their company's future is greater in smaller tech firms, which are still seeing tight access to credit and capital, according to CompTIA.