IT industry confidence slips in March

Slight decline seen in hiring plans

Confidence in the IT industry dipped somewhat in March compared to December, and plans to increase staffing levels dropped slightly as well, a new CompTIA survey shows.

The IT trade organization's findings were based on an early March survey of 336 U.S.-based executives at various IT companies.

CompTIA said that its Industry Business Confidence Index in December made a big 6.3-point jump to 56.6 but in March dropped to 54, on a scale of zero to 100.

The trade association was quick to point out that the slight decline should be compared with strong optimism about future business conditions. For example, the survey showed that 53% of IT companies expect to shift more resources to new products, research and development, or efforts to enter new markets.

In the March survey, 30% of the respondents said that they expect to increase staffing levels in the next six months while 18% expect to cut staff. That's a net positive difference of 12 percentage points. There was a net positive difference between those responses in the December survey too, but it was slightly higher, at 14 percentage points.

Asked what keeps IT executives up at night, respondents cited the continuing fragile economy, fears of a stalled recovery and weak consumer demand.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

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