The coronavirus pandemic has forced many IT and tech companies into tough times, but the majority are eyeing a return to some kind of normalcy by August, according to a new survey from IT trade association CompTIA.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted industries and organizations of all shapes and sizes, and none have been completely immune. That includes solution providers that have hit a rough patch as client organizations cut costs to preserve business continuity.
According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of CompTIA member executives think business will start to get back on track by August. U.S. members have a more positive view than international members, the majority of whom are aiming for September.
When asked about their outlook, 46% said they are generally optimistic, while the same percentage said they’re “hanging in there.” The remainder are in a “very difficult situation,” according to CompTIA.
COVID-19’s business impact
Despite these struggles, technology companies are still closing new deals, as 83% of companies surveyed in April are still receiving new inquiries, up from 76% in March.
According to CompTIA, communications, collaboration and AV technologies (40%), cybersecurity (36%), general consulting (35%), and cloud computing (33%) led the product and service categories that generated customer interest.
However, the pandemic also had an impact on projects in the pipeline. Per the survey, 58% of businesses surveyed said they had customer cancellations or postponements in April, a 15% increase from March.
That same percentage said customers wanted to restructure contracts or payment terms.
Aside from customer actions, the pandemic is also affecting the channel and distribution network, as 34% said projects were disrupted due to shortages of products, 21% reported disruptions with key partners, 19% said financial arrangements with partners were put in hold or canceled, 18% reported a shortage of components and 11% reported investors and financial institutions wanted updated sustainability plans.
According to the survey, 90% of companies have responded to their customers spending challenges by offering flexibility with product orders and payments (58%) and working with channel partners to come up with creative solutions to support customers (50%).
Of companies surveyed, (42%) said they entered May with a “wait and see” approach before making any staffing moves like furloughs, layoffs or even hiring.
For the companies that have acted, 13% hired new staff to support rising demand for remote workers, cybersecurity and other essential IT services.
Meanwhile, a sizeable chunk of companies surveyed have taken actions in the other direction, as 32% have postponed interviews and recruiting, 21% have reduced hours, 18% have laid off contractors or suspended their work, and 17% have laid off their own staff.
About 70% said they’re conducting employee training, which cybersecurity, networking, programming and technical support leading the way. A third say they’re training employees on soft skills like business knowledge, communication, customer service, presentation, problem solving, management, marketing, operations and sales.
“While no wants to see any business struggle, it is encouraging to see that the great majority of companies in the business of technology have shown the resilience to maintain a solid level of activity during this uncertain time,” Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA’s executive vice president for industry relations, said in a statement.