Published: January 21st, 2014

It won’t be the best of times, but it won’t be the worst of times either. According to IT channel industry association CompTIA, the worldwide IT industry will likely experience moderate growth this year.

The group has released a consensus forecast that projects a 2014 growth rate of 3.4 per cent for the global IT industry, with upside potential of 5.9 per cent. That would be in line with a recent United Nations forecast, which projected global economic growth at three per cent.

“The importance of technology to business success has never been greater as IT continues to transition from supporting tool to a strategic driver,” said Tim Herbert, vice president, research at CompTIA, in a statement.

Herbert said technologies such as cloud computing, mobile apps, big data and others have found traction with customers, although riding industry business confidence could be tempered by margin pressures in key product categories. In 2014, CompTIA points to IT services and software as having the most growth potential. Hardware will still grow, although at a lower rate, and with higher margin pressure.

In terms of hiring, always a key measure of business confidence, 41 per cent of IT companies planned to invest in technical staff, while 15 per cent were planning decreases. In non-technical positions, 32 per cent were hiring and 16 per cent decreasing staff. CompTIA expects medium-sized IT firms to be the most aggressive hiring on both fronts.