Half of Australian businesses plan to increase salaries for their existing IT employees by an average of 6.7 per cent in 2016, with select specialist roles to benefit most due to growing demand in the market.
According to the 2016 Robert Half Salary Guide, general starting salaries for IT professionals are expected to remain fairly stable, with a 1.6 per cent rise this year.
Businesses are actively seeking skilled and experienced IT professionals with specialist knowledge in big data, cloud and mobile technology to support innovation and sustain business growth, but are being met with stiff competition.
Increased investment in technology-led initiatives have created a skills shortage, with more than nine out of ten Australian CIOs (93 per cent) claiming it was a challenge to find skilled IT professionals, and this is having an upward effect on salaries for several IT roles, according to the Robert Half report.
With a projected 14.2 per cent increase in the demand for IT appointments in the next five years, according to the Department of Employment, the following highly specialist and hard-to-fill IT roles are becoming more lucrative:
1. Business intelligence developers
This group of specialist developers that plan and design enterprise‐level business intelligence (BI) solutions can expect a 9 per cent salary increase from 2015 due to a demand for IT workers that can harness the power of big data to empower businesses with actionable intelligence and data‐driven insights.
|2015 salary range:||$90,000 - $130,000|
|2016 salary range:||$95,000 - $145,000|
The challenge for BI developers will be warehousing, aggregating and transforming raw data so it is accessible to non‐technical staff without compromising data security.
2. Infrastructure managers
A 9 per cent year-on-year increase in salaries for infrastructure managers reflects the growing requirement for these specialists to be proactive in dynamic technical landscapes while also being creative problem solvers who support business goals.
|2015 salary range:||$120,000 - $150,000|
|2016 salary range:||$120,000 - $175,000|
As big data continues to put a strain existing systems, Australian companies need infrastructure managers to deliver operational expectations and provide solutions to complex technical challenges.
3. ERP functional consultants/CRM consultants
Increasing enterprise resource planning (ERP) requirements in customer relationship management (CRM) and financial management is driving demand, and 9 per cent salary growth year-on-year, for highly skilled and experienced consultants in these areas.
|2015 salary range:||$100,000 – $130,000|
|2016 salary range:||$100,000 - $150,000|
This demand will continue to grow as companies break out of closed systems and take steps to support user mobility, while evolving ERP technologies and associated security threats will require consultants to mitigate the potential for exposure.
4. Enterprise architects
Attracting experienced and conscientious enterprise architects who understand business and technology, and how they can benefit one another, is a challenge for hiring managers. This is reflected in the expected starting salaries in 2016, with 7 per cent growth year-on-year.
|2015 salary range:||$130,000 - $170,000|
|2016 salary range:||$130,000 - $190,000|
The emergence of cloud technologies and big data analytics has kept enterprise architects busy aligning IT strategy with business goals. EAs must continue to conduct analysis and create models and roadmaps to add value to a business by reducing duplication and eradicating conflicts in siloed environments.
5. (IT) project managers
As Australian companies increasingly turn to technology to transform business and drive growth, the demand for IT project managers continues to strengthen, with 7 per cent salary growth year-on-year to reflect this.
|2015 salary range:||$100,000 - $140,000|
|2016 salary range:||$100,000 - $157,000|
The report found around one fifth (18 per cent) of Australian CIOs say it's a challenge to find skilled professionals in project management. While serving as the bridge between business and IT, project managers need to understand all contemporary aspects of IT including innovations in, and implications of, cloud technology and big data, while implementing the highest standards of security.
The Salary Guide also found that since 2015, medium-sized companies have been most competitive, with 56 per cent increasing specialists' pay cheques compared to 42 per cent of small companies and 28 per cent of large companies.
Smaller companies were most likely to freeze salaries at current levels, which occurred at 58 per cent of smaller firms, along with 40 per cent of medium firms and 52 per cent of large firms. Medium companies were the only business type to decrease specialist salaries, which occurred at 4 per cent of them.
David Jones, senior managing director for Robert Half Asia Pacific, said the results suggest that not only will candidates with highly sought after skills be better placed to negotiate salary, but it may also drive more specialists into new roles that may offer better remuneration, including financial and lifestyle benefits.
“In order to attract and keep top talent on the payroll, proactive companies are adjusting their remuneration policies to ensure their offers match or exceed averages in their location and industry,” said Jones.
“However, not all companies rely on pay rises. Others rely on their brand, pay extra attention to work‐life balance, or offer appealing career opportunities to attract top IT talent and gaining their loyalty.”