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Survey: IT Professionals Mixed on the State of the United Kingdom Economy Despite Positive Signs of Recovery

IT Professionals Cautiously Optimistic on 2014 Revenues, IT Budgets, and Hiring Plans

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 12/05/13 -- Spiceworks, the vertical network for IT, today announced the results of a new survey analysing the perceptions small-to-medium enterprise (SME) and large organisation IT professionals have of the United Kingdom (UK) economy, government policies and the perceived IT skills gap. Despite new technology initiatives and policies aimed at driving growth and economist proclamations that the recession is over, many IT professionals accustomed to stressed budgets and aging infrastructures feel the UK remains in a recession. However, IT professionals, particularly those in large organisations, are optimistic that revenue, IT budgets, and hiring growth will materialise in 2014. The study "Making a Comeback, UK?" includes responses from more than 300 IT professionals in UK SMEs and large organisations.

"The last five years have been challenging for the UK economy and the technology industry at large," said Mark Brown, director, Spiceworks UK. "However, today's survey highlights a growing sense of optimism among IT professionals that the UK economy is improving and investments in technology are paying dividends."

According to the report, IT professionals in large organisations, those with more than 1,000 employees, are far more optimistic the UK has left the recession than their SME counterparts. Only 30 per cent of SME IT professionals believe the UK has exited the recession while 49 per cent of large organisation IT professionals believe the recession is behind them. As expected, IT professionals in large organisations are also more optimistic the UK will return to pre-crash levels within the next five years.

Revenue growth expected to outpace IT budgets

Despite lingering concerns regarding the state of the UK economy, IT professionals in both large organisations and SMEs are optimistic about revenue growth opportunities in 2014. Sixty-four per cent of IT professionals in large organisations and 50 per cent of IT professionals in SMEs expect revenues to increase in 2014. While the majority of IT professionals expect higher revenues, they're less optimistic they'll see higher IT budgets. Thirty-five per cent of IT professionals in large organisations and 33 per cent of IT professionals in SMEs expect an IT budget increase in 2014. Forty-three per cent and 30 per cent of large organisation and SMEs respectively are expecting their IT budget to remain flat.

Hiring expected to increase despite perceived IT skills gap

IT professionals have mixed feelings about hiring plans for 2014 and if the UK has enough technology workers to support economic growth. Twenty-seven per cent of large organisation IT professionals and 39 per cent of IT professionals in SMEs expect headcount to increase next year. When asked if the UK had enough technology workers to support growth, less than half of respondents in large enterprises and SMEs are confident the UK has the needed IT skills.

Government policies seen as key to driving growth

IT professionals in SMEs and large organisations agree on the government policies they believe will spur growth in 2014. Greater investment in technology education and skills, workplace training, and a focus on supporting technology businesses were cited as policies that would support growth. IT professionals are also united in the biggest threat to growth in the UK economy -- increased government cutbacks. However, opinions differed when asked about the UK government's superfast broadband initiative already in development. Forty-nine per cent of SME IT professionals see it as a growth-supporting policy compared to only 19 per cent of large organisation IT professionals.

The full report "Making a Comeback, UK?" is available for download here.

Methodology
The survey includes responses from 317 UK IT professionals from a variety of industries including manufacturing, education, finance, healthcare and retail. Spiceworks surveyed 217 SME IT professionals from companies with less than 1,000 employees and partnered with Vanson Bourne to collect responses from 100 IT decision makers at large organisations with more than 1,000 employees.

About Spiceworks Voice of IT
The Spiceworks Voice of IT market insights program publishes statistics, trends and opinions collected from small and mid-size business technology professionals worldwide. More than 620,000 IT professionals in over 100 countries have joined the program to share information and feedback on the technology issues important to them.

About Spiceworks
Spiceworks is the vertical network for IT that more than 4 million IT professionals use to connect with one another and over 2,700 technology brands. The company simplifies how IT professionals discover, buy and manage more than $500 billion in technology products and services each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Spiceworks is backed by Adams Street Partners, Tenaya Capital, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Shasta Ventures and Austin Ventures. For more information visit http://www.spiceworks.com.

Follow Spiceworks on Twitter: http://twitter.com/spiceworks. Connect with Spiceworks on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Spiceworks. Search for available career and networking opportunities on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/spiceworks.

Spiceworks and Voice of IT are registered trademarks of Spiceworks, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Media Contacts:
Adam Schaeffer
Spiceworks
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