What’s the job market like?
For the foreseeable future organisations will always need a CIO or alternatively-titled head of IT. If you can demonstrate that you can harness IT to improve the efficiency of the organisation you will be a wanted person.
The average salary for CIO jobs in 2010 is £83,750 according to MySalary and rates rose by an average of 5% from the previous year. However, this average will be far exceeded in some sectors and locations: the average London salary was £170,000. The financial services sector pays more, and most generous of all is central government: Joe Harley, CIO at the Department for Work and Pensions, earned up to £270,000 in 2008/9. The comprehensive spending review will put paid to this honour, however.
Panellist’s view: This sort of person is in short supply - so step up to the plate and the future is looking good.
What is career progression?
There are CIO roles – and even bigger CIO roles. The ongoing economic shakeout and spate of mergers and acquisitions is creating some of these ueber-CIO jobs, which are very much about influencing business through technology.
There’s a commonly-held belief that the average lifespan of a CIO is three years – as long as it takes to implement a strategy and win over stakeholders. If you’ve got a good management team around you, however, there’s probably no need to be in any rush to move on as it’s possible to grow your clout an organisation as its business reach expands.
For those very involved in delivery, there’s the possibility of the COO role – in some sectors, such as finance, these roles are converging – and the CEO role has been conquered by some. And, because IT underpins everything, future graduates may expect IT to be the fastest route to the boardroom.
Panellist’s view: My current role came into being when my company was acquired. Other members of the team were also promoted into big roles.
Our CIO panel:
Ben Booth, CIO of Ipsos, former IT director of Mori
Alan Mumby, partner and head of CIO/CTO Practice, Odgers Berndtson
Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism at the BCS
David Tidey, Head of IT and Business Communications, Wandsworth Council
Elite, the BCS group for CIOs and IT leaders