Silicon Valley-based executives were even more bullish with 77% expecting the technology sector's recovery to outpace the U.S. recovery. About 43% of the technology leaders surveyed expect the U.S. economy to recover after 2010, while 39% predict the economy will recover by next year. Eight-out-of-ten executives said they expect business conditions in the technology sector to improve in 2010, with 78% expecting stronger revenue and 72% expecting improved profitability.
"The results are in line with recent earnings reports in the technology sector which suggest business conditions are starting to improve," said Gary Matuszak, partner, global chair and U.S. leader for KPMG's Information, Communications & Entertainment practice, in a statement. "There are also reports of software industry sales expanding five-to-ten percent annually after the recession, so while it's far from blue skies in the industry, the worst seems to be behind us," said Matuszak.
Employment Looking Up
When asked how they responded to the economic downturn in the past year, the most frequently cited action was reducing headcount (68%). Only 14% of respondents said they are planning or considering further reductions in 2010. In fact, technology executives are fairly optimistic about the industry employment picture in 2010, as 49% expect it to be better.
The second most frequent action cited in response to the downturn was cutting capital expenses―60% said they already had done so and 28% are considering or planning cuts. When asked what else they would do to adjust to the downturn in 2010, 42% of executives said they were creating or modifying risk management plans and another 42% said they were looking at implementing IT solutions to reduce operating costs.
When asked to identify the top three triggers they think will spur an economic recovery, 42% of the technology executives cited improved business confidence, 41% said improved consumer confidence, and 32% said an improved job market. Increased consumer spending was fourth (30%) but was most frequently cited by the hardware technology company executives (39%).
The three triggers cited least frequently were effective regulation (6%), government stimulus spending (5%) and the government bailouts (4%).
When asked to identify the biggest challenges they currently face in dealing with the economic downturn, the executives most frequently said finding new sources of revenue (66%), managing costs and restoring business confidence (42% each), and adjusting to changing customer demand (37%).
About the Survey
The KPMG Pulse survey was conducted from May through July of 2009 and reflects the responses of about 130 CEOs and other C-level suite executives in the hardware and software computer industry. Of the 130 respondents, 33 are companies with revenues exceeding $1 billion, 22 are companies with revenues in the $250 million-$1 billion range, and 75 are companies with revenue below $250 million. Clarion Research Inc. conducted the survey and compiled the data.