The industry is bracing for a new round of volatility.

The report of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) showed that sales fell by 5.4 per cent in the 12 months to March 31, while total sales fell 1.4pc.

The organisation said there was a “sharp increase in the number of new orders” in the sector.

Its annual report on the industry said that in the last six months there had been a sharp increase in “new orders” and a fall in “customer acquisition costs”.

It added that this had helped “to drive down total sales in the current financial year”.

“The market has changed and we’re seeing an uptick in volatility in the markets, especially in the space of hardware,” ACM President and CEO Michael Moritz said.

ACM also warned that there was “significantly more noise in the data” about the market.

“There is now a significant level of noise in our data, and I think it’s a lot more worrying because of that,” he said.

“I think the market is getting to a stage where we are now seeing a significant amount of uncertainty about the industry.”

We have to be very cautious, and we have to not lose sight of the fact that we have a very robust market in this industry, and the industry is still growing.” 

‘A great opportunity’But the ACM has a message for investors, too: “The current situation is not sustainable,” Moritz added.

He said the industry needed to continue to invest in its technology to help it compete.”

The more we invest in our technologies, the more we will get back.

“And so I think the great opportunity here is to continue investing in our capabilities, in our technology, and to support our customers in this process.”

ACME chief executive Tom Lacey said that while the industry was facing a new period of volatility, it was “a great opportunity”.

“I don’t want to be negative, I want to say that we are going to continue doing this, because we are a great company,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

“So it’s not just about the technology, but we are also a great business.”

However, he said that the new uncertainty was a concern.

”It is not just a software issue, but it is also a hardware issue, and it is a hardware-based issue.

“If you don’t have a good product to sell, that is going to be a problem.”

Lacey said there would be some areas that were still growing.

However the ACME chief said he hoped for an overall improvement in the business as a whole.

There were still “tens of thousands of jobs that are here” in Australia, he added.

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