Business confidence has been steadily improving over the past year and it looks set to continue over the next 12 months as resellers start to take advantage of an improving economic climate.
But with confidence comes growth ambitions and the need to expand and that is posing its own problems for the channel with some complaining about the difficulty in hiring the right people.
According to the latest IT Industry Outlook 2015 from CompTIA there should be a 5% growth rate this year for the global IT industry, with the UK coming in slightly under that level.
“The steadily improving Business Confidence Index suggests there is a feeling that we’ve finally reached an acceptable degree of stability across the economy,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA, “There is an expectation this will translate to even greater levels of investment in technology.”
Twelve trends to watch out for in 2015
1. Technology extends its global reach
2. The push to simplify: battling complexity on many fronts
3. The democratisation of technology creates new opportunities for small businesses
4. The stakes get higher for tech policy
5. The new business systems get built
6. Data handling becomes a core competency
7. The Internet of Things drives innovation
8. Security gets a makeover
9. Remodeling the channel
10. Customers holding the reins
11. Business transformation is NOT the end point
12. Skills gaps: marketing and beyond
In the UK some of that investment will come in the form of recruiting more staff with 42% of firms reporting that they are fully staffed but want to bring more people into expand and 38% described themselves as being understaffed.
As well as finding talented people the other challenge for the channel was on the margin front and 69% felt that things were either the same as this time last year or even worse.
Herbert warned that margin pressure was one of the factors, along with shocks to the global economy, that could slow down momentum in the market and give business confidence a hit.
The industry group has identified 12 trends (see side panel) that it expects to play out over the course of this year with more businesses using cloud and mobile and a host of opportunities emerging as a result of the growth in the impact of the Internet of Things.
CompTIA also expects data management skills will become even more sought after and security will remain a constant pressure with a potential need for some training in that area.