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The state of the economic recovery and IT spend

COVID-19 brought with it the unexpected and uncertainty, and economic recovery post-pandemic is also unusual compared to periods after other recessions.

One significant difference is that people have money to spend. However, they’re having trouble spending it. For example, restaurants are struggling to fill open positions, so they’re seating fewer people, limiting hours, and maybe even closing a few days per week. Also, retailers are having trouble stocking shelves and filling online orders due to sluggish supply chains and manufacturers still working to catch up with past-due orders.

Additionally, the imbalance in supply and demand, as well as increasing costs to deliver goods and services, are driving inflation. The Federal Reserve optimistically predicts, though, that inflation will return a sustainable rate once supply bottlenecks resolve.

Analysts also see encouraging signs for the near future. The Conference Board is forecasting a 9 percent increase in the U.S. Real GDP in Q2 2021 and 6.6 percent in 2021 year over year. Another sign of optimism is the record number of new businesses applications. For example, in late 2020, applications were 40 percent higher than the year before.

How Businesses Plan to Spend their IT Budgets

Just as consumers saved throughout 2020, giving them cash to spend now, businesses also conserved cash last year and are positioned to make investments in IT. Software vulnerability management solution provider Flexera surveyed CIOs to better understand technology spending in 2021.

  • 56 percent plant to invest in accelerating digital transformation
  • 50 percent in cybersecurity
  • 48 percent in cloud migration
  • 29 percent in improving customer experiences

The survey also asked about changes in spending for specific solutions to date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the CIOS polled:

  • 57 percent increased spending for Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • 49 percent for public cloud
  • 45 percent for laptops and desktops
  • 43 percent for networking
  • 37 percent for devices
  • 31 percent for storage
  • 29 percent for private cloud
  • 22 percent for on-premises software
  • 21 percent for servers
  • 19 percent for data centers.

The survey also found that CIOs are focused on cost savings, with 27 percent saying it’s a priority now, compared with 9 percent who ranked it at the top in 2020.

The Point of Sale Market

Although e-commerce increased during the pandemic and adoption is expected to increase, industry analysts also forecast the point of sale (POS) terminal market to grow. Market Data Forecast predicts the market will grow to 29.09 billion by 2025, a CAGR of 10.9 percent. Analysts at Market Data Forecast see small retailers upgrading to more efficient POS systems capable of managing new multichannel and omnichannel business models they adopted to meet consumer demands during the pandemic.

Additionally, Benzinga is forecasting that the global mobile POS market, now valued at about $19.9 billion, will grow at a CAGR of 21.9 percent from 2021 to 2030. This increase will be driven by growing contactless payment adoption and merchant strategies that include competing by offering the best possible customer experiences in their markets. Mobile POS systems, which include Wi-Fi and other required technologies, will give merchants the ability to streamline inventory processes, capture signatures, and more.

What’s Your Outlook for the Future?

Based on the numbers – and on what you’re seeing in the field – businesses are spending on IT. They better understand the value of technology in a crisis, how quickly consumer behaviors can change, and what it takes to ensure business continuity. Merchants also appreciate the value of an integrated, omnichannel payments platform that gives them the flexibility to do business in-person, online, via mobile, or any other way customers choose to engage. 

Study your markets for trends, identify your top prospects, and take advantage of current opportunities.

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