What's with the tech sector?


#1

I work for a tech MNC (not software), and we seem to be doing great. It’s not really something to be complaining about but with nearly everything else going to crap, I’m struggling to understand how this is happening. Who is buying our stuff? I thought no-one had any spare money any more? When will the bottom fall out?


#2

Why not give us your own opinion to get the ball rolling? And maybe some more details on where you work and, you know, what you’re on about and stuff.


#3

Exports, I suppose… so some parts of the world mustn’t be so screwed… OK :-GC

Apologies for wasting your internets…


#4

What sort of hardware does your firm make? If it’s floppy disk drives, I wouldn’t have an answer for you. If it’s iPad2 graphics chips, thank this guy: news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20068295-71/report-teen-sells-kidney-to-buy-ipad-2/


#5

there were some fantastic growth sectors during the great depression, the transistor radio for instance. No is no different. Too early for gloating though: this recession is not over and eastern consumers will take a set back


#6

If there’s going to be permarecession, at least in some parts of the world, perhaps rolling from one place to another, companies need to build in much more flexibility to their business models. IT is sold as an enabler of this.


#7

Ditto here.

Technology companies cut all extra costs post dotcom bust. Smartphones have led to huge demand on the communications infrastucture, which is selling huge amounts. Movie and music downloads appear to be keeping the PC market bouyant.

Probably won’t last, but unlikely to tank in the same manner as 2001.


#8

Hmmm. My brother and his partner work for the same tech MNC here and are far less optimistic. They’ve lost a lot of staff in the last two years, and a lot of their production has shifted out of here. And the company - for all the talk of our highly educated workforce, cannot get the staff they want - especially those who have good second language abilities.


#9

The Tech sector is characterised by waves of innovation that tend to move independently of the general economic cycle…e.g. Mainframes in the 70s, Personal Computers in the 80s, Windows/Enterprise Software and Internet in the 90s.

We have now entered the next wave, Mobile Internet. Demand on mobile infrastructure is growing exponentially and huge investment is needed to keep up. Web traffic in general is set to grow massively over the next few years, not least driven by the demand for video.

Some stats:

blogs.forbes.com/ericsavitz/2011/06/01/cisco-sees-web-traffic-up-4x-by-2015-to-almost-a-zettabyte/

If Cisco are saying this, one can only imagine what their R&D budget (and those of their competitors) will be over the next few years. We should also expect some serious M&A activity - many tech companies are sitting on huge cash piles.

It is also worth noting that in the mid/late 70s (the aftermath of the oil crisis) the tech sector performed well. The same was true of the recession in the early 90s.


#10

irishtimes.com/newspaper/fin … 14449.html

“A minister would turn up now if Met Éireann announced a cloud but the Government is banned from buying it,”


#11

I think this is pretty key. IT had its bubble, the ranks were thinned and those that survived had to compete against the Indians etc… This kept a lid on wage inflation while the domestic sectors were seeing massive wage inflation. So not the same sort of readjustment required.


#12

The global economy worldwide is also in a massive shift towards technology, it’s affecting the way we live our lives at every level and in every country. It’s more far reaching than I think any of us can guess at now, but just the simple things like mobile phones in the third world change the game for the entire planet. Smart phones are a whole other ball game.

Until that process reaches its conclusion, the tech sector will be booming.


#13

On the software side I’m noticing a lot of requests for more automation of administrative tasks in large companies. Not saying it is a huge amount of business but it is happening. Things like companies looking to streamline/automate their purchasing, accounts payable process etc to take up the slack from all the clerical staff they have laid off. Of course this sort of BPR should always be continuous but a lot of companies ignored it while times were good.


#14

From what I remember, global business spend on IT declined in late 2006, then in 2007, 2008, and 2009, before picking up again last year.
Maybe the US picked up a while before Europe, perhaps second half 2009 for the US.
Certainly the companies where I saw cutbacks made the cuts some years ago, then kept expenditure fairly restrictive until this year.
This include some tech companies - contraction in 2007, 2008, and 2009, followed by some moderate expansion last year and moderate this year. I don’t get the impression that the tech sector is immune, just that it weathered the storm and came out the other side.
Many people are anticipating another slowdown later this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens.

(By the way, I’d take anything from Cisco these days with a healthy pinch of salt.)


#15

:smiley:
The company whose ‘bulletproof’ demand forecasting system has now failed twice at key turning points?


#16

Very fantastic.

The transistor was invented in 1947. The first transistor radio was announced in 1954.


#17

I hate the fucking cloud. It’s the name.

Salespersons: “Do you know what the cloud is and how it operates?”

Me: “Yeah as Larry Ellison pointed out, it’s a fucking network”.


#18

In fairness, this chap is mostly correct. Radio essentially the internet of the 1930’s. Radio Corporation of American (RCA) was one of the largest cap stocks of the era, if you read any investment publication of the day, RCA was the stock to own, a bit like the Apple of today.


#19

Hear, fcukin’ hear.

Cloud is basically the same thing as the WWW.


#20

I was informed by one of our tech writers today: “you DO know all documentation is moving to the cloud”! I was very tempted to say “Wow! You mean it’s not just on the internet any more?”. :unamused: