IT Industry News – November 2017

November 2017 saw some interesting information from countries round the world. China’s growth slowed a little, India is struggling in the IT jobs space and there are some negative effects from the upcoming Brexit that are affecting the UK and EU. The US is looking strong again following a hurricane affected dip and Canada added 35,000 jobs in October.

The Big M&A activity for the month sees investment firm Thoma Bravo pay $1.6 billion for Barracuda networks. McAfee also made an acquisition of Skyhigh Networks now that they are no longer a part of the Intel group of companies. Smaller deals saw Talend buy Restlet and Qualys buy Netwatcher.

Other companies in the news include Lenovo, a struggling hardware company in a declining PC market and laying off 2% of their workforce. The other company of interest was Uber who revealed a massive security breach which they had neglected to mention when it happened a year ago!

That’s what I saw affecting the tech industry for November 2017. Until next month Walk Fast and Smile!

In this Issue:

> General Interest
> Company News
> Merger & Acquisition Activity
> Primary Sources


> GENERAL INTEREST

General

36 per cent of Canadians have been a victim of cybercrime in the last three years, according to Accenture’s 2017 Canada Cybercrime Survey, and more than half of the report’s respondents say their concern about cybercrime is limiting their use of online services. 44% don’t know how to protect themselves from cyberthreats and only 38% say they are aware of how to report a cybercrime to authorities

The demands of the IT employment market are not being met by today’s education system, according to research from recruitment specialist Robert Half Technology UK. According to the research, 92% of CIOs believe that the IT education provided by colleges, universities and technical schools doesn’t meet the demands of the employment market.

Robotics topped online staffing provider Upwork’s third-quarter list of 20 fastest-growing skills for freelancers. It was followed by blockchain and bitcoin skills in the No. 2 and No. 3 slots. It was the first time robotics ranked as the fastest-growing skill, and it was the first time blockchain and bitcoin appeared on the fastest-growing list.

IT budgets are expected to stabilize — and in many cases, grow — around the globe in 2018, leading to a boost in IT staffing, according to the 2018 State of IT report released by Spiceworks, a network that includes millions of IT professionals.

The economy – Canada

Canada added 35,300 jobs in October from September to a total of almost 18.5 million jobs as gains in full-time work offset a loss of part-time jobs, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by Statistics Canada. The unemployment rate edged up to 6.3% in October from 6.2% in September. Provincially, the largest employment increase was in Quebec, followed by Alberta and Manitoba. However, employment decreased in Saskatchewan. Employment in Ontario edged up by 5,200 jobs in October from September as a gain of 22,000 full-time jobs was partially offset by a loss of 16,700 part-time jobs. Ontario’s unemployment rate rose to 5.9% from to 5.6% in September.

After three years of decline, the number of complaints registered against Canada’s telecommunications firms rose by 11 per cent this year, according to the latest annual report from the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS). Nearly half (8543, or 46.3 per cent) of the 18,448 complaints registered related to wireless service, while another 5763, or 31 per cent, related to Internet service.

The economy – US

The Conference Board’s US Employment Trends Index increased sharply in October following declines in September and August caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The index now stands at a level of 135.57, up from September’s level of 132.86. Separately, the US Department of Labor reported the US gained 261,000 jobs in October.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its “2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook,” and the future for employment growth in IT-related jobs remains bright. The handbook provides information and projections for 575 occupations, accounting for approximately 80% of the jobs in the US economy. Employment in the computer and information technology occupations group is projected to reach a scale of 4.8 million jobs, up 12.9% over the period. This represents an additional 546,100 jobs and is well ahead of the 7.4% growth projected for total employment.

US private-sector employment rose by 235,000 jobs in October from September, according to ADP. The report also noted the increase in September was revised downward by 25,000 jobs to a total increase of 110,000.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased for the fifth consecutive month in November. The index rose to a reading of 129.5 (1985=100) from 126.2 in October.

US real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.3% in the third quarter, according to the second estimate of GDP growth released by the US Commerce Department. The new estimate is up from the previous estimate that pegged growth at 3.0%.

The economy – Outside North America

The number of professional job vacancies in Ireland decreased by 2% in October compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest Morgan McKinley Ireland Monthly Employment Monitor.

India‘s telecom sector saw more than 75,000 employees laid off in the last year with more job cuts on the way, reports the Economic Times. The sector is facing between 20,000 to 30,000 layoffs in the next 12 months.

India‘s IT flexi staffing industry will grow 16% per year to reach USD 5.3 billion by 2021, according to survey data from the Indian Staffing Federation. The ISF reported that the IT flexi staffing market is worth USD 3.04 billion in 2016-2017. The penetration rate of the flexi workforce in IT with respect to the total IT workforce in India is 5.6%.

IT professionals in India are likely to see reduced job opportunities in the next six to 12 months, according to the Experis IT Employment Outlook for the period of October 2017 to March 2018.  The outlook, which surveyed 500 IT employers across India, showed that hiring intentions have dropped 8% from the last quarter and 23% from the first quarter of 2017, resulting in a net employment outlook of 50%.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) unemployment rate was stable at 5.7% in September 2017 compared to the previous month. Across the OECD area, 35.7 million people were unemployed, 3.0 million more than in April 2008.

October saw a decrease of 20% in London jobs available when compared to the previous year according to the latest Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor. The monitor also showed a 37% decrease in professionals seeking jobs in October compared to last year.

The number of job vacancies in Germany increased by 174,400 in the third quarter when compared to the same period last year according to figures from the Institute of Employment Research.

The labour market in China showed continued improvement in the third quarter, driven by steady growth in the economy, according to the latest CIER Employment Index Report. The index is expected to continue its upward trend in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Nine in ten candidates, or 89%, across Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia stated they will reject a job offer if the recruitment process took longer than four weeks, according to survey data from Randstad Singapore.

Approximately 16,000 new jobs are set to be created within Singapore’s Infocomm media sector by 2020. Most of the jobs will be in four areas: areas of cyber security, Internet of Things, immersive media, and artificial intelligence (AI) and data science.

The jobless rate in New Zealand stood at 4.6% for the third quarter ended September, down 1.3% compared to last year and its lowest level since Q4 2008, according to figures from Statistics New Zealand.

China’s private sector growth in October expanded at the weakest pace in sixteen months, reports Business Insider with data from IHS Markit. The Caixin composite output index, which covers both manufacturing and services, dropped to 51.0 in October from 51.4 in September.

The jobless rate in South Africa stood at 27.7% in the third quarter, steady from the previous two-quarters while remaining a 14-year high, according to figures from Statistics South Africa.

Job vacancies in Ireland are up 3% in the third quarter when compared to the same period last year according to figures from the latest Jobs Index from IrishJobs.ie

The euro area (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 8.9% in September 2017, down from 9.9% last year. It is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since January 2009 according to figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Belgium’s employment market saw a slight growth of 0.3% in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest report on the labour market from Federgon, the Belgian Federation of Staffing Agencies. Federgon’s data showed that on an annual basis, GDP was up 1.7% and business confidence remains above average.


> COMPANY NEWS

PC market giant Lenovo said it has laid off about 2 percent of its workforce, including an undisclosed number in its Americas headquarters in Morrisville, N.C. The cuts come as the company contends with diminished standing in the global PC market, partner uproar over recent rebate and pricing changes, as well as the challenges of launching a new data center strategy. Worldwide, Lenovo has about 52,000 employees in 160 countries. In a statement, a Lenovo spokesperson said the $43 billion company is “on the right path to profitable growth,” and is “taking this step now to ensure that we are as competitive and cost-efficient as we can be.”

Uber disclosed a data security incident that occurred in October of 2016. As a result 57 million customer’s and driver’s information was compromised including name, email and phone number. In addition, approximately 600,000 U.S. drivers’ license numbers were breached. Impact on Canadian drivers and users has not yet been clarified.  The delay by Uber in disclosing and the secrecy surrounding the nature of the breach and payments made to the cybercriminals has again raised the issue of mandatory reporting requirements for the loss of personal information. 48 states, and most industries handling personal information like financial services, require mandatory reporting.


> MERGER & ACQUISITION ACTIVITY

Talend Buys Restlet

Talend, a global leader in cloud and big data integration solutions, has announced its acquisition of all outstanding shares of Restlet SAS, a cloud-based API design and testing platform. Restlet uses the cloud to provide powerful API design, documentation, testing and hosting capabilities to developers.

Thoma Bravo Pays $1.6 Billion for Barracuda Networks

Investment titan Thoma Bravo plans to purchase Barracuda Networks for $1.6 billion, just four years after the storage and security vendor filed for an IPO.

Qualys Buys NetWatcher

Qualys plans to purchase the assets of NetWatcher to expand its reach into the real-time threat intelligence market and bolster its relationship with managed security service providers. The Foster City, Calif.-based cloud security vendor said the acquisition will fortify its threat detection, incident response and compliance management capabilities for businesses of all sizes. The Reston, Va.-based startup provides businesses with a real-time view of potential security vulnerabilities such as weak passwords, unsafe behavior and outdated software.

McAfee Buying SkyHigh Networks

After splitting from Intel into its own standalone cybersecurity company earlier this year, McAfee is now making moves of its own. The company has announced it will be acquiring Skyhigh Networks, a cloud access security broker, for an undisclosed amount. However, research company PitchBook Data, Inc. puts Skyhigh’s most recent funding round at approximately $400 million, which could indicate the potential value of this deal.


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