Large Scale Global CFO Survey Reflects Positive Outlook

Good news is somewhat plentiful for technology firms and information technology workers in the new Duke-CFO magazine survey of chief financial officers.

The report, which was issued Wednesday, says demand for skilled workers is increasing even though the overall job market remains stagnant.

Plus, companies are looking to ramp up capital spending as well as research and development funding.

Capital spending is forecast to jump 12 percent this year – a double-digit spike not seen since 2004.

R&D spending will increase 4 percent this year.

On the job front, one third of the CFOs surveyed said there is a “strong need” for skilled labor in:

  • Engineers
  • Medical personnel
  • Product developers
  • Information technology
  • Finance and accounting

Plus, sales people are in more demand – a sure sign that companies anticipate more business. Some 27 percent of CFOs said their companies were planning to expand their sales teams.

Technology firms were among those most needing additional sales personnel.

Most in need of skilled workers are companies in manufacturing, mining and construction and health care, the survey found.

However, the overall job picture is not as good.

“The U.S. employment picture is slowly improving,” said Kate O’Sullivan, deputy editor at CFO Magazine. “The rate of improvement won’t push unemployment much below 9 percent this year, but certain job categories are in high demand.”

M&A action in the works

CFOs also are on the prowl for mergers and acquisitions with 36 percent of the companies looking to buy or merge this year. Most active sectors are expected to be in technology, media plus services and consulting.

While startup tech and life science firms are finding an “exit” through an initial public offering of stock to be a lot easier these days, M&A remains a very viable route to liquidity, cashing out or growth – such as the recent merger of Overture and Hatteras Networks.

For more about the survey, read here

Source: RICK SMITH, WRAL Tech Wire Editor