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Report: Expect a boon for IT channel firms

Overall, tech sector employment is expected to grow at about twice the rate of overall employment in the US, according to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook report.


Image: Shutterstock/tomertu

Nearly 80% of IT channel companies are positive about their business prospects and similarly, feel good about their jobs and careers, a newly released study finds. Even prior to the pandemic, companies had begun embracing a dual approach to IT, but the move to remote work was their time to shine, according to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2022 report.

“The tactical side was the more traditional approach, ensuring that infrastructure and applications were in place to support business activities. The strategic side was the cutting-edge approach, incorporating technology as a critical component of new objectives,” the report stated. “The chaos of the pandemic gave IT pros career stability as they addressed immediate concerns, and the promise of recovery gives even more stability as IT pros contribute to future success.”

That said, lingering uncertainty around COVID remains a concern, especially as some sectors may take longer to recover, the report noted. Challenges around growing complexity also weigh heavily, which fits in with new directives to handle both tactics and strategy.

SEE: Hiring at US technology companies reaches near two-year high (TechRepublic)

Overall, “the two-sided nature of enterprise technology provides more reason for hopeful career trajectories … Companies continue to struggle in finding the skills they need, even for day-to-day operations. As companies increasingly push the envelope of technology in order to gain competitive advantage, it opens the door wider for career mobility.”

That mobility doesn’t necessarily have to come from changing companies; organizations are showing more willingness to train their current workforce so that they retain institutional knowledge and ensure an exact skill match, the report said.

The economic impact of the tech industry

The direct economic impact of the tech industry, which translates to the dollar value of goods and services produced during a given year, amounts to 10.5% of US economic value, or over $2 trillion, according to the report. There are also indirect impacts, such as every job in IT services and custom software development leading to an estimated 4.8 million additional jobs created or supported through direct, indirect or induced means, according to the report.

Employment is one of the most significant aspects of the technology industry. For many years, technology employment has been more robust than overall employment, with lower unemployment rates and stronger job prospects, the CompTIA report said. “Looking forward, tech occupation employment is expected to grow at about twice the rate of overall employment in the U.S., with many occupations growing at 4x-5x the national rate.”

In terms of industry specifics, the report cites an IDC projection that the tech industry is on pace to exceed $5.3 trillion in 2022. “After the speed bump of 2020, the industry is returning to its previous growth pattern of 5%-6% growth year over year. The United States is the largest tech market in the world, representing 33% of the total, or approximately $1.8 trillion for 2022.”

SEE: Research: Digital transformation initiatives focus on collaboration (TechRepublic Premium)

Among global regions, western Europe remains a significant contributor, accounting for approximately one of every five technology dollars spent worldwide, the report said.

In terms of individual countries, “China has clearly established itself as a major player in the global tech market,” closing the gap in traditional categories such as IT infrastructure, software and services, along with staking out leadership positions in emerging areas such as 5G and robotics, according to the report.

The CompTIA report also includes 10 trends for the coming year:

  1. The workplace can no longer be easily defined–The definition of a workplace has changed, and likely for good. The swift move from traditional office-based work to full-time at-home work has exposed upsides and downsides that companies will need to balance in the year ahead.

  2. Changes in business travel drive innovation—Just as many workers discovered they could be as effective at their day-to-day jobs seated at home, many also found that business travel might not be as essential either—at least not in its past form and frequency.

  3. The impact of regulation goes beyond new laws—”Techlash” has faded as a buzzword, but the sentiment is still real. Across the political spectrum, consumers and clients continue to have concerns about the market power of tech giants and the way data is handled.

  4. Technology budgets experience stealth growth—Technology opportunities are moving beyond hardware installations and software licensing into a wide array of possibilities as businesses integrate technology into their long-term goals. Robust spending may not be obvious when it is allocated across IT department and business unit budgets.

  5. Proactive cybersecurity takes a big step forward—Momentum toward a proactive approach to cybersecurity is building. Penetration testing has become a distinct role within cybersecurity team structures. Organizations are starting to realize that either internal resources or outside partners are needed to identify and correct weak spots.

  6. Channel cybersecurity has a ways to go—Expect channel firms to double down on cybersecurity to win deals and instill confidence in increasingly nervous customers. Ignoring this critical discipline puts a channel firm at a distinct disadvantage in the race to land and cement new customers for the future.

  7. Consulting: Today’s channel opportunity—More channel firms will have a reckoning that reselling products and services in a cloud marketplace era is fading, but they have volumes of opportunity to transform or expand as business consulting experts.

  8. Chip supply chain woes provide a wake-up call—Channel firms, particularly the hardware-focused, may begin to consider whether to keep inventory, parts and components close to home, regardless of whether customer orders have been placed yet, in the event of backlogs overseas.

  9. Software development gets more granular—Software applications continue to grow in number and complexity as businesses leverage technology to connect their workforce, reach new customers and improve productivity.

  10. Foundational data management drives an analytics revolution—Business will be done differently thanks to data analytics. Companies with a strong data foundation will lead the way. But that can only occur once they understand data basics – the data they have; how it is collected, stored and secured; and what goals they hope to attain through its use.

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