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Despite the avalanche of gloomy surveys and news reports there continues to be a degree of optimism in the senior levels of the IT industry.
According to the DLA Piper 2008 Technology Leaders Forecast there is a mixed response to the current problems with most viewing the downturn as a block on floatation’s and venture capital backing but for those with the funds there are opportunities.
Three quarters of the senior executives in the IT world admitted that the downturn had adversely impacted them and half don’t expect the IPO market to return until 2010.
But despite the acceptance of short-term pain and a challenging next year there are still signs that the vast majority of companies are keeping marketing and sales budgets away from cuts.
Peter Astiz, global co-head of the DLA Piper Technology Sector Practice, said that the continuing support for marketing, sales and research and development indicated that in the medium to long-term companies expected the market to recover.
“In a clear sign of optimism over their medium and long term prospects, only a quarter of respondents indicated they are reducing their sales and marketing expenses, and even a smaller percentage of executives were planning on cutting their research and development expenses. This seems to indicate a belief that the impact on the technology sector will be more short term in nature and that companies plan to continue to strategically invest in their businesses,” he said.
Although encouraging the problem with surveys is that at the moment they tend to cancel each other out.
In a debate on Radio 4 last night a spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses pointed out that more attention was given to the gloomy surveys and when it reported in September that the vast majority of its members were optimistic the mainstream media ignored it.