One company which has caught the eye of investors today is IT services provider Empired Ltd (ASX: EPD). Its shares are up over 6% to 49.5 cents after being named 38th in Deloitte’s 50 fastest-growing Australian tech companies

According to the report the company posted a 140% three-year growth rate. This is all the more impressive considering how competitive the IT services industry is. Fellow listed competitors include SMS Management & Technology Limited (ASX: SMX), RXP Services Ltd (ASX: RXP), Melbourne IT Limited (ASX: MLB), and ASG Group Limited (ASX: ASZ).

Although it is one of the smaller players in the industry with a market cap of $60 million, its impressive list of clients ranging from large corporations to government organisations has helped it grow at a strong rate.

The good news for investors is that the strong growth it has delivered in the past looks set to continue in FY 2017. The company has started the year in the strongest position in its history with record levels of contracted revenue.

Management has achieved this by strategically positioning the company in line with current growth trends.

Based on current forecasts Empired’s shares are changing hands at just 11x estimated FY 2017 earnings, which I believe could make them great value now.

Although my preference in the industry is still RXP Services, Empired is definitely up there and deserves its spot in Deloitte’s list.

Another company which I believe could prove to be one of the hottest stocks in 2017 is this one. The smart money is heading there now... is yours?

Big, Fat, Dividends

This company's dividend is almost the stuff of legends. Its reliable cash flows support a high payout ratio, and the company's stash of franking credits are the cherry on the top of the dividend cake. Based on the last 12-months of dividends, shares are offering a fully-franked 6.5% yield, which grosses up to a whopping 9.3%, when those franking credits are included.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.