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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

IT Industry Shows Most Growth

Talk to owners of information technology companies and practically all tell the same story: a down economy means good business for them. Whether it is security software, IT consulting and staffing, or hosting services these companies continue to bring in clients. Technology once again was the industry with the largest representation on the business journal’s Fastest Growing Private Companies list. Considering how things are going this year, in 2009 these same company names may appear again. “When you are in the tech space we are in an economic downturn breeds opportunity,” said Arnie Friedman, president of CPI Solutions, a network and software consulting firm in Camarillo. “When business looks to consolidate, to cut expenses they turn to companies like ours for that process.” CPI landed in the No. 18 position on the list with an 83 percent growth. A year ago the company was No. 36 and in 2006 was No. 3. The fastest growing list had a total of nine tech-related firms, the same as on the 2007 and 2006 lists and more than any other industry. The advertising/marketing and manufacturing industries were also represented by multiple companies. Historically, the Valley region has had a strong technology base, going back to its days as a hotbed of aerospace manufacturing. The entertainment, gaming and biotech industries in Southern California now play a substantial role in keeping tech at the forefront. The Information sector, which includes Internet service providers and web portals, is forecast for 2.7 percent growth this year, according to a forecast study from the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. <!– Training: Brian Enderle of Guitar Center asks a question during a Symark Software training session in Agoura Hills. –> Training: Brian Enderle of Guitar Center asks a question during a Symark Software training session in Agoura Hills. The CSUN study has the professional and business sectors, which includes computer systems design and consulting services, growing at 2.6 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2009. Of course, this study was prepared prior to the current financial conditions of consumers cutting back on spending and the federal government having to bail out the financial industry. Even in those conditions computers still need maintenance and protection, and companies need to have Internet access. High ranking companies on this year’s list include software developer Volusion at No. 7 with 439 percent growth; Moorpark Internet business consultancy Bruce Clay Inc. at No. 14 with 86 percent growth; and Cal Net Technology Group at No. 19 with an 83 percent growth. Making their second appearance on the list is SADA Systems of North Hollywood. The company was No. 30 with 61 percent growth. When the economy turns bad the hosted applications that a company like SADA provides are looked at more seriously as a cost savings measure as businesses pay less per user, said President Tony Safoian. SADA has had customers experiencing financial problems. When companies stop investing in their tech infrastructure or go out of business that is never a good thing but the pain can be lessened with a variety of clients. The firm serves the health care, education, financial, and legal industries. “Diversification was not a deliberate strategy,” Safoian said. “We were fortunate in that was how we were structured.” Increased government regulation for the banking and pharmaceutical industries and protection from insider threats are what bring companies to the security software developed and sold by Symark International Inc. The Agoura Hills firm was No. 24 on the list with a 74 percent growth. Symark was on the list once before in 2006. Customer service is one area that Symark excels in and making sure that customers install and use the security software, said CEO Bob Farber. If a large corporation buys 50 licenses one month chances are the number of additional purchases grows exponentially. “Before you know it they start covering their whole data center,” Farber said. The software is not a luxury item to most businesses but instead is an important part of the operating system. Data security becomes important to protect it from being accessed both by internal users and external threats. Because it is a “must have” Farber doesn’t envision difficulty with future sales up to a point. “We will be more cautious and conservative in forecasting for the next couple of years,” Farber said.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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