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OnForce Confidence Index Indicates Improving Economy Isn't Helping the IT Services Industry Study Also Reveals Eye-Opening Trends in Preferred Mobile Device Platforms for IT Service Businesses

BOSTON, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite positive economic indicators, the IT services industry is increasingly pessimistic about the current economic climate, but expects conditions to improve within the next six months, according to OnForce's latest Confidence Index, released today.

Half of professionals surveyed report that current economic conditions are having a negative impact on their business.  Interestingly, professionals surveyed are not as optimistic as they predicted they would be last October in OnForce's  Q4 2011 index. In fact, the current and future positive perception has remained stagnant this quarter – with a current positive perception of 27 percent and a future positive perception of 40 percent. The overall Current Index stands at 39, though the Future Index stands at 60 – both down one point over last quarter.

Future Index
(Forecast for the next 6 months)


Current Index
(Current perception)


Q2 2012

Q1 2012

% Change



Q2 2012

Q1 2012

% Change

Positive

40%

40%

0%


Positive

27%

27%

0%

Negative

20%

19%

-3%


Negative

50%

47%

-6%

No difference

14%

18%

22%


No difference

21%

22%

5%

I don't know

26%

23%

13%


I don't know

2%

4%

-50%

Future Index

60

61

2%


Current Index

39

40

-3%

 

This quarterly OnForce Confidence Index reflects the opinion of more than 600 technology professionals nationwide who derive a substantial portion of their income from contract-based IT projects, including cloud computing, networking and vertical applications. These experts are on the front lines talking with customers and have a unique perspective on where the market is and where it is heading.

Signs of Economic Improvement Slow to Reach IT Service Industry

While certain economic indicators, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Consumer Confidence Index, show an improving economy since Q4 2011, there are several factors that may be hindering overall economic growth - and hitting independent field service businesses especially hard.

"Wall Street's economic barometers report an improving economy, but for techs in the field, things look a little different," said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. "The sharp rise in gas prices is an immediate, direct and hard-hitting blow to independent field technicians on the road. Q1 is also historically the slowest quarter of the year for tech projects – especially in the retail sector. And the high national unemployment rate is showing clear signs of a jobless recovery in the U.S."

Mobile Device Momentum in IT Services

Taking into account the early adoption rates of IT professionals, the OnForce Confidence Index also analyzes trends regarding mobile device usage, serving as an indicator for broader market trends. Most significantly, the survey indicated Blackberry device usage has moved to a complete freefall,  while Android has continued steady growth, and for the first time accounts for more than half of all smart phone users.

Other key takeaways this quarter include:

  • Blackberry device usage dropped to seven percent among all field techs; down from 11 percent last quarter – a 36 percent drop in use among Blackberry users in just three months.
  • Meanwhile, Android smart phone users jumped to 52 percent, up from 46 percent last quarter – a 15 percent increase among those users in three months. More than half of all field technicians now use Android phones.
  • iPhone use saw a modest increase, from 24 percent to 25 percent.
  • Tablet use among field techs showed a steady increase from 36 percent to 39 percent - an eight percent increase among tablet users in three months.
  • When asked which mobile device they use most often on-site, 80 percent say a smart phone, while only 12 percent say a tablet. Eight percent use neither.

About the OnForce Confidence Index  IT  Professionals

The OnForce Confidence Index reflects the opinions of IT field service decision makers with up to 100 employees, and at least $10,000 in IT services billings. The overall ranking is based on a 0-to-100 scale; a ranking above 50 indicates market optimism and below 50 indicates market pessimism.

The Q2 2012 forecast survey was conducted from March 12 – 14, 2012.

To learn more about OnForce, please visit http://www.onforce.com.

About OnForce
OnForce is the #1 source for on-site tech talent in field services in the cloud. By partnering with OnForce, service buyers can connect with thousands of highly skilled service professionals to fulfill on-site work throughout the US and Canada. With nearly two million service events completed, OnForce is a proven and trusted solution. Service buyers can gain extensive geographic coverage, lower service costs, extend skill-sets, and generate new streams of revenue on demand. Service professionals find work with national service companies. The company supports more than 20 IT and CE categories, such as computers, printers, networking, VoIP, Point of Sale, and more. OnForce is the partner in service. For additional information, please visit www.onforce.com.

SOURCE OnForce



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