While no industry is immune to fluctuations, disruptions, and challenges as it matures, few spend time worrying about the global information technology industry’s health when they look ahead to the foreseeable future.
CompTIA, one of the industry’s leading trade associations, recently released a comprehensive report detailing major trends and forecasts for the IT industry. We’ll recap a few of the major takeaways below as we build momentum into the new year
With a valuation expected to reach $5.2 trillion globally by the end of this year, IT’s percentage of the US gross domestic product has grown to eclipse that of perennial behemoths like retail, construction, and transportation. As the entire human experience selects itself to become more and more digital and interconnected, the IT industry grows accordingly to support it.
The outlook for 2020 promises more of the same.
CompTIA projects the global IT industry will grow at a rate of 3.7% with a ceiling of 5.4% and a floor of 1.9%. They acknowledge that variables such as spending on emerging technologies in well-established areas could help swing that figure in one direction, while other variables like currency fluctuations or changing trade policies could swing it the other way.
Here’s how the report breakdowns the major potential positive and negative variables:
Factors that Could Drive Growth in 2020
- Successfully reaching new customer segments (60%)
- Pick-up in business from an existing customer base (47%)
- Successfully selling new business lines/launching new products (47%)
- Improvement to sales/marketing efforts (46%)
- Improvement of internal operations/efficiencies (38%)
- Positive government action (deregulation, tax code changes, etc.) 21%
Factors that Could Inhibit Growth in 2020
- Customers postponing purchases (49%)
- Unexpected shock (financial crisis, natural disasters) 45%
- Negative government action (regulation, trade policy) 38%
- Shrinking margins/profitability (35%)
- Labor costs/availability of skilled IT workers (33%)
- Disruption/competition from new firms entering IT space (21%)
Major Areas of the IT Industry in 2020
Breaking down the components that make up the overall IT industry is fairly straightforward, as the market can be categorized into five major areas:
- Telecom services (26%)
- Devices and infrastructure (23%)
- IT and business services (21%)
- Emerging tech (17%)
- Software (12%)
It’s important to note that these figures represent the total global market and will vary from country to country. The US tech market (which represents 32% of the global market), for example, has already established a vast infrastructure and user base and thus would spend less (by 6%) than the global 23% on devices and infrastructure and more (by 9%) on IT and business services.
Additionally, CompTIA notes that while emerging technologies comprise 17% of the global revenue, they are expected to represent nearly half of all growth in new revenue. The major contributors to emerging technology growth are:
- IoT software/hardware
- SaaS + PaaS
- IoT connectivity
- AI platforms/applications
- Big data/analytics
- Enterprise social software
- Next-gen security
Demand for IT Talent
As the industry continues to swell in size year after year, the demand for skilled IT candidates has reached a fever pitch—and candidates are well aware of their leverage in the market: 86% of IT professionals report their job outlook as very good or fairly good.
While there is no shortage of young professionals entering the field, competition for the leading candidates is ultra-fierce as organizations scramble to attract them from an increasingly dwindling pool.
As technological skills become increasingly complex and valuable to business objectives, companies will have to develop new, innovative ways to attract and retain fewer and fewer available candidates that possess them.
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