CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook for 2022: A Return To Strategy

According to Carolyn April, CompTIA, signs are now pointing to investment, increased budgets and pursuit of technical and business innovations that align with the direction of the industry’s future. Nearly 8 out of 10 channel companies are optimistic about the next year. Yes, almost 80 percent. Let’s just be with that sentiment for a second, shall we?
There is still a pandemic. The supply chain problems have not been solved. The trials and tribulations of these last two years have been hard on the supply chain. We are now seeing a gradual return to optimism in the thoughts, actions, and minds of tech industry professionals. Today’s business owners, sales representatives, marketing professionals, technical engineers, IT workers, and other IT workers are still cautious, but they are beginning to see the light at the end. It’s refreshing to see it.
In 2022, companies that thrive will invest in skills training, expand their market reach to new verticals and customers, partner with competitors, and embrace emerging tech. Many believe that this means moving beyond their comfort zones and resuming strategic decision making rather than tactical dam-plugging. Many are ready to do this. After nearly two years in economic uncertainty and stagnation, there are now signs that investment is on the horizon. Budgets will be increased and technical and business innovation will be pursued that aligns with the industry’s direction.
Let’s look at growth and budget expectations and other aspects. The following are the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2022 findings:
Revenue positivity. 62% of businesses stated that COVID-19 had had an adverse effect on their business in 2020, compared to 48% who said so in 2021. This is a significant improvement. This is a significant improvement. Nearly 6 in 10 channel companies (58%) expect revenue growth in 2022 that will either surpass what they saw in 2020 or 2021, or erase losses from those years and return growth levels seen pre-pandemic 2019.
Growth factors. Channel firms are focused on acquiring new customers and exploring new business models/technologies to drive positive revenue growth in 2022. Although 2021 was a year that emphasized maintaining existing business, the outlook this year is much more aggressive. If you will, it’s back to sales hunting behaviour. The market’s many SaaS application players will be one of the top targets. To build relationships with this ecosystem, investments will be required to move from traditional channel recruitment, sales compensation, and management models to the elements that resonate most with the cloud-first crowd.
Budget boosts. Budget allocations for tech-related spending are also increasing. Comparing to 2021, where a quarter of channel companies predicted that budgets would be slightly higher than the previous year’s, this year 40% of channel firms expect them to be. 13% of respondents said that their 2022 tech budget would be significantly higher than the 2021’s, compared to 3% who said the same last year. This means that there will be more spending internally. For example, MSPs might double down on cybersecurity and/or digital transform tools. This includes expanding the technology lines and investing in non-transactional lines of business around consulting services.
Inhibitors? Channel firms should not be too confident. They must recognize that growth could be slowed in 2022 due to a variety of factors. These include continued COVID impact, customers postponing purchasing; natural calamity (i.e. Weather, financial crisis; and/or difficult hiring environments. It is important to have a solid foundation of resilience and best practice so that you can weather any unforeseen crisis.
Online marketplaces: friend, foe or friend? The cloud age has changed the way customers buy and use technology. It has also meant that more business is flowing to online marketplaces. 7 out of 10 channel companies say that their customers are self-procuring technology through one or more marketplace giants. Smart channel firms see this as a threat to their business and are leveraging the services and consulting opportunities available to help customers make informed decisions about what they want to buy. Although the trend is towards more direct tech-buying has not meant that channel firms have to go extinct, especially if they see the value of non-transactional business consulting.
It’s been a difficult couple of years. Many companies have abandoned their larger strategic goals and initiatives in order to stay afloat. Tactical mode was dominant: Keep the lights on, and pay your people.