My Next “Letter From Germany” – German Tech Market Outlook Is Strong

 

As promised, here is Peter O’Neill with my third regular blog where I highlight something important for you that has or is about to happen in Germany. My colleague Andrew Bartels has just published his European ICT Market 2012 to 2013 report so I’ll take the chance to augment his prognosis on the German ICT market by adding some local color. Andy’s report is, as usual, excellent reading, runs to more than 40 pages, and is based upon our own buyer intention surveys plus government and vendor reports. Germany is the largest ICT market in Europe, estimated by Andy at 86.6 billion € for 2012. This puts Germany at 18% of the total Western and Central European number and 14% of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa total (EMEA) — a much more common regional division for tech vendors.

Andy reports that the German tech market is growing at 1.6% in 2012, which is in the more positive league of European markets together with the Nordics, Central Europe, Switzerland, and Austria — many other country markets are shrinking or “experiencing negative growth” as some people like to say.

                                

The major areas of growth here are hardware and people. Spending on IT staff in Germany was always higher than in other markets (about one-third of IT budgets), but the resource pot is now almost empty — German businesses complain they cannot find new staff. Experienced IT consultants, especially SAP experienced of course, earn a mint as contractors with the day rates on the rise. There is also a dearth of IT graduates coming out of the universities. Professors treat “informatics” as an academic subject, scaring off many potential students who’d rather create something useful than learn computer theory and programming languages. So, opportunity knocks for systems integrators and consulting companies.

If you are tired of reading about the European debt crisis, rampant recession, and horrendously high unemployment rates, well so are we here in Germany; the mood here is actually quite different. It may not be the economic boom of last year, but German businesses (and employees) are still in growth mode and aggressively seeking new markets and investing in process innovation. Where I live, in Southern Germany, the labor market is essentially at full employment status — the unemployment rate of around 4% is a residual. So, the mood is still more optimistic than you will find in other European markets. As Andy writes, German companies plan to invest in advanced technologies: mobile devices and apps; smart computing technologies like sensors and analytics; and software platforms to develop new business applications (German companies still tend to make not buy their software).

One thing for you to watch out for as you report German numbers. The dollar/euro rate is moving such that the above-cited growth of 1.6% is actually shrinkage in dollars. If you are responsible for marketing in Germany, you will need to make sure your management understand the difference and do not reduce your budgets to communicate in what is a growing market.

Need more details? As always, I’d love to hear from you on this and other topics.

 Always keeping you informed! Peter 

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