Sat with a lot of grey suits at the Cisco London Partner Forum. @richorob is speaking. Cisco always have lots of interesting stats to talk about. They are a rich source of data about the high tech world we live in and make a living out of. You can look on their website for specific stuff, I’m not writing about it here.
What did interest me was the audience response to a couple of questions.
@richorob asked how many in the audience were expecting their businesses to grow this year. My gut feel is that only maybe 25% of people raised their hands. Extending this to 10% or more growth quite a few with their hands up dropped them. I’d say that less than 10% of the audience were expecting double digit sales growth. My hand stayed up btw.
Interesting. Times are clearly hard out there even in a market sector that has always been high growth driven by technological change.
Later he asked how many companies took on apprentices or graduates in their business. The response was astonishing. Maybe 10 or 15 hands went up out of at least 200 people in the room. The businesses in the room are all in the high tech game. They may well be sales orientated but in this world a highly skilled and highly educated workforce is absolutely essential. The quality of the person that you put in front of your customers is the difference between sinking and making that 10% progress. The stream is fast moving.
I’m not just talking about sales people. Our most recent apprentices have been in our reception team and in the IT department and graduate recruits get trained around different departments before deciding on the type of job they would like, except perhaps for the developers who prefer to go into a dark room with other geeks and do their stuff” .
Times may well be hard out there but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. That’ll do for now – I need to listen to the talks.