Today DLA Piper released the results of its fifth Technology Leaders Forecast survey, which was developed in conjunction with the firm’s 2012 Global Technology Leaders Summit. The survey addresses the major trends, challenges and opportunities confronting the technology industry. 

Click here to download a copy of the survey.

Why is this survey being done? In the face of global economic headwinds and amid a high-stakes 2012 presidential election, technology leaders – ever focused on the promise of the future – are seeking clarity with respect to the economic, regulatory and political landscape.

What questions is the survey intending to answer? 

  • Will there be greater economic certainty following November’s election?
  • What is the direction of tax policy? 
  • Will the next administration ease regulations – or increase the regulatory burden?
  • How will China’s role in technology development and financing evolve? 
  • Will the IPO market cool down or heat up?
  • What are the most promising and challenging areas for the technology economy?

One of the key findings:  By a 3 to 1 margin, technology leaders believe President Obama will be re-elected on November 6th. However, in contrast, most tech leaders (64%) believe that Mitt Romney’s election would be a positive development for the technology industry. Whereas, just 41% believe President Obama’s re-election would have a positive impact on the technology economy, and an almost equal number (40%) believe it would not have a positive impact.

This is a notable shift from 2008 when 60% of technology executives signaled that a Barack Obama victory would be a positive development for the technology industry.

These executives and investors, however, have more on their minds than just politics. There are underlying concerns about global economic conditions – and the added burden of growing regulation that hinders their ability to access capital and build new businesses. Economic uncertainty was listed as the most significant barrier facing the IPO market and was a significant factor in impeding the success and formation of technology startups.

We will be reviewing more of the survey results here later today and this week.