I have often said that the axis of technology world has shifted to somewhere in South China Sea. Earlier, this week, a survey of technology company executives and institutional investors who attended RBC Capital Markets North American Technology Conference in Half Moon Bay, California came to the same conclusion. Of the 240 companies in attendance, majority identified Asia as the best region for technology growth over the next 12 months, followed by North America and Europe. The majority of corporate executives indicated that they plan to increase hiring through this year and into 2005, with the majority indicating they would expand their company’s workforce by ten percent or more. The overwhelming majority of technology executives indicated that their primary hiring activities would occur in the U.S., as opposed to off shore. With that said, 75 percent of the corporate executives indicated that moving corporate operations offshore has made the technology industry more competitive.
What’s good for the goose, however doesn’t seem to be good for the gander. Despite the encouraging outlook for growth in the technology sector, two-thirds of the survey respondents indicated that they expected technology stocks to remain in the current trading range for the remainder of the year. Respondents also indicated that they expect to see increased merger activity for technology companies during 2005, with the applications, enterprise and telecommunications/wireless sectors seen as being the ripest for M&A activity. When asked which technologies represent the greatest potential for growth, respondents identified Wi-Fi and voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP) as the strongest areas.