Although weathering the downturn better than other sectors, France’s IT sector hasn’t entirely escaped unscathed in 2013. Syntec Numérique, a leading association representing France’s tech sector, just released their annual report on the state of play in France, which projected that France’s tech sector will end the year down -0.3% from 2012.
The hardest hit in the decline are projected to be technology consulting which is down -2% and SSII (IT services and consulting) which will end up the year off by -0.3%. Software editors however seem to be in reasonable shape as they’re expected to end the year up 1.4%. All three areas are expected to improve in 2014, although technology consulting will likely continue to struggle (i.e. continued decline of -1.4%). In their commentary on their analysis, Syntec stressed that while the overall numbers for 2013 were concerning, there was quite a bit of differentiation by industrial sector. So, for example, technology consulting to the energy sector actually performed quite strongly during 2013.
Still representing 61% of France’s IT sector revenues and the bulk of sector employment, SSII‘s (think IBM, Cap Gemini, Accenture and the like) performance continues to have a substantial impact on the sector overall. Even a slight uptick, which is projected for next year, will go a long way in helping to turn things around. In addition, the rapidly increasing appetite for SaaS solutions has turned out to be a clear driver of growth for the sector, and a principal reason software editors are expected to finish the year on a high note. To underscore how strong this part of the sector is performing, IDC projects that total SaaS revenues will reach €1 billion in France by end 2013, which is a highly impressive 28% increase from 2012.
Meanwhile, according to Pole Emploi, France’s unemployment service, the unemployment rate of those with IT and telco backgrounds stands at 8,7% for those in the category A (unemployed without any PT work activity). While worryingly high by historical standards, this rate is in fact almost 2 percentage points lower than France’s overall rate. Although the employment situation has been less favorable as of late, the IT and digital sectors in France still continue to be a net creator of jobs, having created an avg of 10k jobs each year over the past 20 years.
Source, Syntec Numérique: