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Pressure grows for IT spending, hiring, but goods, workers won't come easy

Roy Harris | Dec. 16, 2011
Technology-related investments and IT hiring are high on the shopping lists for U.S. companies at year-end. But that very rush into tech likely will increase the bottlenecks and shortages for both goods and people.

"With the recent bankruptcy of Solyndra and the negative implications it holds for the industry at large, there is a dark cloud hanging over the cleantech sector," according to Jamil. "Consumer and investor interest has begun to wane, as questions over the strength of the industry gain momentum and companies face further supply chain interruptions."

The CDW research showed that only 13% of It decision-makers were expecting budget reductions in the next six months, a seven-point decline since August.

In its breakdown by area of IT demand, hardware and IT systems seemed in for a good next six months, with 76% of corporations and government agencies in the survey making hardware purchases -- and 43% planning to buy systems. Meanwhile, demand for software dipped slightly from August.

Healthcare, manufacturing and retail were identified as the strongest sectors for IT purchases.

The survey was taken in late October among 1,045 IT decision-makers from all sizes of companies. Both medium and large-sized business were considering major IT investments in the next six months, the CDW report showed -- 10 percentage points more than the medium-sized-company demand registered last August, and four points more than what large businesses had indicated.

The most confident industries in the survey were healthcare (53% showing confidence in investment), manufacturing (50%) and retail (46%.)

CFOs Look to Hire Accountants

Separately, demand for accounting and finance personnel, not necessarily connected with IT, also seems to be improving, according to Robert Half Financial Hiring Index.

That improving outlook was registered among CFOs interviewed by Robert Half, the parent company of Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Robert Half Management Resources, respectively providing temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals.

The survey shows 20% of U.S. finance executives planning to add full-time accounting and finance personnel, with 11% forecasting reduced staffs. The 9% net increase represents a four-point gain from the fourth quarter survey, and is the third consecutive quarter of growth.

In hiring for finance and accounting, too, the skills shortage is a problem. The Robert Half survey, taken by telephone interview among more than 1,400 U.S. CFOs, showed 68% of executives reporting difficulties finding the right people, up from 59% in Q4 and from 41% in Q3.


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