The economic recovery, anemic though it may be, means that things are slowly — finally — improving for many of us. Mostly. But don’t tell that to the IT field service industry. According to a new report from OnForce, the IT field service industry is increasingly pessimistic about its economic situation.
Seasonal fluctuations such as rising gas prices and a traditionally slow first quarter for technology projects are the main culprits, according to the 600 IT professionals around the country surveyed for the report from OnForce, a service technician outsourcing company. Confidence in the economy has stalled out over the first quarter, despite the general improvement in the economy.
“Half of professionals surveyed report that current economic conditions are having a negative impact on their business,” according to the report. “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.”
The report also contained some compelling data about the mobile devices of choice among U.S. service technicians. (Hint: Apple doesn’t manufacture them.) If you read the Internet, watch television or leave your home, you couldn’t be faulted for thinking that Apple’s the only game in town. But according to the report, Android is the preferred platform of choice among service technicians — and it really isn’t even close.
The report found that more than half (52 percent, to be exact) of technicians surveyed carry Android smartphones. Apple’s iPhone, meanwhile, is used by 25 percent of technicians and BlackBerry, which at one point practically was the only game in town, continues to slip into irrelevance amid embarrassments such as last year’s three-day service outage. The company’s share of the mobile device market among those surveyed slipped to a meager seven percent. The report also found that tablet usage among service organizations continues to rise, up to 39 percent from last quarter.