High-Tech CEOs See Net Services Overtaking Wireless As Greatest Growth Area

Survey finds employment at fast-growing, high-tech companies is about to grow quickly: 95% of the 150 responding CEOs say they'll expand their payrolls this year.

Are Internet and IP-related services this year's wireless communications services?

Thirty percent of CEOs at high-flying, high-tech companies see Internet and IP-related services as the sector offering the greatest potential for growth this year, according to the Deloitte Fast 500 CEO survey released Tuesday. Last year's top pick, at 23%: wireless communications services.

If another finding of the survey holds true, employment at fast-growing, high-tech companies is about to ramp up swiftly. Ninety-five percent of the 150 responding CEOs questioned say they'll expand their payrolls this year, with 42% of respondents indicating their companies will increase employment by 25% or more, and one in five by 50% or more.

Tech CEOs seem all but oblivious to global political instability and inconsistent worldwide economic conditions as they focus on internal operations and hire new talent and retrain incumbent employees, says Tony Kern, a principal with Deloitte & Touche LLP and deputy national managing principal of Deloitte's U.S. technology, media, and telecommunications practice.

High-quality employees are the greatest contributors to success, according to a quarter of the respondents--that figure is up from 19% last year. Still, finding, hiring, and retaining qualified employees remains the biggest operational challenge for 27% of the CEOs, the same as last year.

Other findings of the survey:

* Economic conditions concern only 2% of respondents, down from 16% last year.

* IP is growing in importance. Nearly two-thirds of the CEOs deem IP business applications as extremely or very important. Two-thirds say they use IP-based applications primarily for communications, and employ them internally to connect employees across regions. Nearly half say their companies use IP-based sales and marketing and customer-support or CRM systems.

* Nearly three-quarters of respondents feel they owe their personal success to sheer determination to succeed, up from 26% last year. Twenty-eight percent say luck plays a role, up from 13% last year.

The Technology Fast 500 CEO survey is an annual poll taken of CEOs at companies ranked on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500. Nearly 150 CEOs responded to the 2005 survey, which was conducted in the first quarter of the year. The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is an annual ranking of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America based on percentage revenue growth over five years.

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