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Salaries have been rising for the past three years, but the highest paid specialists skew the average wage for ICT executives, according to Potentia

Technology, digital and innovation professionals have been seeing their average salaries rise for the past three years.

For 2018 and 2019, salary packages, on average, rose by 10.4 per cent, up from 8 per cent in 2017.

Two out of three technology professionals received this pay rise, according to Potentia’s latest Remuneration Report.

Potentia says the report is based on an online survey in late 2018 and actual pay packages offered to individuals it had placed in the previous 12 months.

Based on this information, Potentia says C-suite executives can expect to be in the following salary ranges:

But since 2017, a small group of people has been receiving a more significant increase, disproportionately skewing the average.

And these are the data and analytics managers, whose remuneration grew fastest, increasing by 26 per cent.

Data rules

In fact, the report finds data-related roles make up four of the top 10 salary increases.

This highlights the continued trend for competitive advantage through investment in rich data, reports Potentia.

As this domain matures, Potentia believes the demand for great data leaders to plot the path and help get the most from teams as they grow will continue to expand.

Select skills in digital technologies are also at a premium.

Potentia reports that two of the 10 jobs involve the creation of digital experiences.

Evidently, demand has increased for these people as the rubber hits the road and businesses seek to deliver better customer engagement online, says Potentia.

Core development occupations using well-established technologies like C++ and Java saw big pay gains.

Continued retention of these technologies across projects and product development, coupled with a lack of new entrants into these more legacy skill areas, will continue to drive salary increases, it adds.

What has changed, what remains static

Potentia finds the composition of people’s packages remained largely unchanged over the past year.

This means there is little innovation happening in the way people are rewarded for their work.

Surprisingly, remote work is steadily declining year on year, it is now at 57 per cent.

“This will be a trust, work measurement or accountability issue from either the employer or employee side and needs to evolve to reflect modern work arrangements,” says Potentia.

It points out employers who are not offering the option to work remotely and do not provide flexibility of work hours, are out of touch with the wider employment market.

Furthermore, employers that are offering a ‘vanilla’ package of only salary, are being outshone by 85 per cent of other employers.

If employers are not paying above market salaries nor offering significant challenges to employees, their teams will likely experience attrition

“If employers are not paying above market salaries nor offering significant challenges to employees, their teams will likely experience attrition,” says Potentia.

This is because more than half of workers see these two factors as the most desirable improvements in their current jobs.  

Another concern is the drop in professional development. This supports the idea that employers are struggling to upskill their people appropriately or notably and employees know it, says Potentia.

In terms of gender, the report underscores the under-representation of women in ICT, and the organisational imperative to ramp up programmes to encourage a more diverse workforce. 

Last year’s data, meanwhile, revealed how important money is in both decision-making and satisfaction of employees, and this year is no different.  

The 2019 report finds three of the top five happiest jobs also received some of the biggest pay rises. 

Potentia notes that employers can expect money to be a prime factor in defining job satisfaction for the near future.

But many of these occupations are also at the forefront of key technology initiatives and investments.

Automation, data-driven insights and the increasing mobility of computing all feature heavily as current trends, says Potentia.

Consequently, these people may see the skills they are building, and the jobs they are doing, as valuable and more resistant to becoming outdated quickly.

And, if employers want to retain their most valuable staff, or attract the top talent, the data finds the five things job applicants want most (in order) are:

  • A better salary package than they are on now

  • Clear career advancement

  • Increased work-life balance

  • A company vision they can get behind

  • New challenges in their core role.

Moonlighting trend

An interesting insight into the report finds that nearly half of ICT staff (47 per cent) would like to work part-time, and spend around 13.5 hours per week on moonlighting jobs.

The top three drivers for moonlighting are increased money, experience and skills development.  

Potentia says this shows these people are prepared to take the growth of income, career and capability into their own hands.

If or when this trend impacts employers, some questions will need to be raised, says Potentia. It notes that typical employment contracts are not fit-for-purpose to manage these changes to people’s work arrangements.

“Employers must address this moonlighting trend by taking a balanced stance on employment terms that manage the risk associated with salaried employees, while enabling the use of gig workers to supplement their own workforce,” it concludes.

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