The Arizona Technology Council in conjunction with TECNA, the Technology Councils of North America and CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, unveiled a survey finding that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of top technology and business executives prefer that government have some role in promoting innovation and growth in the tech sector. Sixty-four percent of top executives say the government should be doing more to expand access to capital for start-up and high-growth companies while 54 percent feel making the research and development (R&D) tax credit permanent would also help spur growth.
“It is critical that Arizona lawmakers 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,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “It is also noteworthy that executives see education and workforce issues as key to the state’s future.”
Key Arizona findings:
- Education and workforce development are key policy issues: Over half (58 percent) of the senior executives listed STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education at the K-12 level to be a top policy priority, while 54 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: The survey found 51 percent of Arizona respondents are looking to expand technical staffing levels; 51 percent are looking to expand investment in new products or business lines; 47 percent are planning on expanding marketing/advertising expenditures and 51 percent are planning on expanding technology expenditures.
- Arizona leaders see big data analytics, data mining and business intelligence as the biggest contributors to growth in Arizona over the next two years: Sixty-two percent of the execs surveyed in Arizona believe that big data analytics, data mining and business intelligence are the biggest growth potential sectors in the state, followed by Healthcare tech (54 percent) and Cloud data centers (52 percent).
- Relative to the overall results, Arizona technology executives placed greater importance on advanced manufacturing (19 percent Arizona, 9 percent overall), environmental or energy technology (18 percent Arizona, 7 percent overall), and defense/military technology (22 percent Arizona, 5 percent overall), as growth drivers to the technology economy in their state.
“It’s critical that the voice of the tech community be heard on Capitol Hill and in statehouses across the country,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. “By collaborating with the Arizona Technology Council, TECNA and similar groups across the country we can better educate members of Congress and state lawmakers on the issues that matter most to the technology and business communities.”
The data for this quantitative study was collected via an online survey conducted during October 2012. A total of 1,082 senior (C-level) US IT and business executives belonging to one of the regional technology associations affiliated with the Technology Councils of North America including 78 from the Arizona Technology Council participated in the survey. The margin of sampling error at the 95 percent level for the results is +/-3.0 percentage points. Sampling error for Arizona is +/- 11.3 percentage points.