The UK’s double-dip recession may soon be over thanks to a spectacular surge in business confidence in IT and technology, a new report reveals.
The latest business confidence monitor from international accountancy giant Grant Thornton is likely to gladden the heart of the jobbing PAYE umbrella techie, as it suggests that companies are scrambling to locate appropriately qualified IT talent. Confidence in IT shot up during Q1 2012 by 4.7 points, hitting a score of plus 26.5 – the highest rating since the Q2 2011.
Strong domestic sales trends are driving the renewed confidence, with a growth rate of 6.3% forecast for the coming twelve months, almost twice that seen last year (3.2%). Although many firms moved to freeze IT spends in 2008-9, the sheer pace of technological change since then has driven them back into rebooting their technology investment.
The monitor predicts that the “strong improvement in confidence across the board” is likely to mean that the present recession is a short-lived one. Quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.6% is forecast for Q2 2012.
Grant Thornton’s Head of Technology, Wendy Hart, said that firms are opting to spend now on new systems, such as cloud-based services, software as a service and infrastructure as a service, to deliver longer-term cost reductions. She added: “At the same time, businesses supplying the consumer market are seeing consistently high appetites for new technology, devices and applications, which in turn drives sales.”
The eurozone tumult decreased export expectations in Q1 but, even so, contactors supplying the IT skills market are set to be very much in demand as companies hunt high and low for skilled talent.