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Survey: Technology leaders optimistic, despite potential recession

Written on Dec 16, 2022

A new pulse poll by EY examines technology leaders’ perspectives on the economic downturn heading into 2023. 

In October, EY surveyed 250 senior business leaders at U.S. technology companies to see how they are preparing for a potential recession. The poll uncovered that 74% of business leaders in the technology industry say they are already seeing signs of a recession in their businesses today, but they also see opportunities for their organizations.  

As the increasingly recessionary environment adds pressures to the worldwide economy, the research showed that leaders in the technology space remain bullish on their business outlook. They are leaning into technology and digital transformation solutions, data and analytics and creative talent investment and development strategies as ways to help insulate and even leverage elements of a recession into potential growth opportunities. 

Key findings: 

  • The majority of technology leaders are seeing recessionary signs, yet they remain bullish on their outlook: 61% of business leaders in the tech industry think a recession would have a positive impact on their organization. Half (50%) of the leaders say they plan to activate their growth plans within the next two years or sooner. 

  • Retaining great talent is still a priority: 90% of business leaders in the tech industry say they are investing in new talent to remain competitive amid the threat of a recession. While this may sound counterintuitive given recent tech sector layoffs, retaining high-performing talent with the right skills will be even more critical as these companies face economic headwinds. 

  • Remote and flexible work are now seen as cost-savings opportunities: 90% of business leaders report they are considering prioritizing or reprioritizing remote work in an effort to save money. Tech leaders say they are doubling down on investing in remote work (70%); diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) (69%); and employee health and wellbeing (67%). 

  • Emerging technologies are key in preparing for a recession: 98% of business leaders in the tech industry are using data and analytics to adjust their supply capacity for a potential recession. Data and analytics (83%), machine learning/artificial intelligence (72%), and 5G (67%) are the most commonly reported technologies that leaders in the tech industry say they are implementing to ensure more efficient operations amid the threat of a recession.