With Election on the Horizon, TECNA Polls Execs on Tech & Policy Issues
ATLANTA, OCTOBER 25, 2012 – Today, TECNA, the Technology Councils of North America, in partnership with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), unveiled a national survey finding that two-thirds (66 percent) of top technology and business executives prefer that government have some role in promoting innovation and growth in the tech sector. As we head into the 2012 election, six in 10 (58 percent) of top executives say the government should be doing more to expand access to capital for start-up and high-growth companies.
“With federal, state and local elections on the horizon, it is critical that all the candidates sit up and take notice: businesses want our government to take a modest but constructive role, such as opening the door to new sources of capital, so that private tech firms can innovate and succeed. Lawmakers should also note that, although many executives feel confident in their own businesses ability to succeed, they are quite concerned about the state of the economy overall,” said TECNA President and Technology Association of Georgia CEO Tino Mantella.
Key national findings:
- Education and workforce development are key policy issues: Nearly half (49 percent) of the senior executives listed STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education at the K-12 level to be a top policy priority, while 42 percent hope to expand their pool of trained tech workers by placing career, technical and vocational education on par with traditional degree programs.
- More than half of businesses are planning to increase investments: Our survey found 59 percent of respondents are looking to expand technical staffing levels; 58 percent are looking to expand investment in new products or business lines; 55 percent are planning on expanding marketing/advertising expenditures and 52 percent are planning on expanding technology expenditures.
- Business sentiment is expected to improve, although there is concern for the overall economy: Nearly three quarters (72.1 percent) of the top executives we spoke to expect their businesses to improve over the next six months, while just over half (53percent) expressed concerns about the economy’s stalled recovery.
Key regional findings:
“This survey also shows us that if a state provides the right business environment, startups and other businesses will flourish,” Mantella explained. “It’s not surprising that executives who feel the economy is improving took a moderate view on government involved in business while those who take a negative view of our economic climate favor a low level of government involvement.”
“It is critical that the voice of the tech community be heard on Capitol Hill, and in statehouses across the country,” said CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux. “By working with TECNA to poll its members, we can provide a more complete picture about how different states and regions perceive the ingredients needed to make the tech industry grow. This in turn helps to better educate members of Congress and state lawmakers on the issues that matter most to the technology and business community.”
- More executives in the Northeast want the government to take some role in increasing access to capital: Two thirds (66percent) of executives in the Northeast support a government role in expanding access to capital for startups or high-growth companies, compared to 58 percent in the Midwest; 58 percent in the Southeast; and 51 percent in the West.
- The Midwest leads in placing a priority on a simplified and corporate tax structure, including closing corporate tax loopholes: More than half (57 percent) of the executives we spoke to in the Midwest rated a simplified tax structure as a high priority, compared to 45 percent in the Northeast, 46 percent in the Southeast and 48 percent in the West.
- All regions agree their state and local governments are representing them well or “just okay”: The Northeast leads with 39 percent of top execs say their state and local governments represent them well, while 44 percent of execs in the Southeast said their local lawmakers were “just okay.” Executives in the Midwest were the most unhappy with their lawmakers – 33 percent said that their state and local governments were doing a poor job representing the tech sector.
About the Survey
The data for this quantitative study was collected via an online survey conducted during October 2012. A total of 926 senior (C-level) US IT and business executives belonging to one of the regional technology associations affiliated with the Technology Councils of North America participated in the survey. The margin of sampling error at the 95 percent level for the results is +/-3.3 percentage points. Sampling error is larger for subgroups of the data.
The Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) represents almost 50 IT and Technology trade organizations who, in turn, represent more than 16,000 technology-related companies in North America. TECNA serves its members and the industry through its strong peer-to-peer network and its regional initiatives to raise the visibility and viability of the technology industry.