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IT salaries should rise as businesses do more than 'keep the lights on' - survey

IT salaries should rise in 2011 as enterprises approve more IT projects beyond the basics, according to a survey by TekSystems, a technology staffing and services agency.
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Written by John Hazard, Contributor on

IT salaries should rise in 2011 as enterprises approve more IT projects beyond the basics, according to a survey by TekSystems, a technology staffing and services agency.

Businesses climbing out of the recession say 2011 is the year they intend to do more than just "keep the lights on" said Tania Lavin, TekSystems Research Manager. For most companies that means hiring or outsourcing and that will force IT salaries to rise, she said.

There is a strong correlation between increased project needs and expected increases in IT salaries, especially for the roles required to execute on the top strategic initiatives. Overall, nearly 60% of survey respondents expect to increase IT staff salaries in 2011, with the highest increases expected for Project Managers, Database Administrators and Enterprise Architects.

Attracting and retaining exceptional candidates to fill critical roles is paramount to the success of IT projects. Whether these skills are developed through training or acquired through an outsourced model, IT leaders can expect to pay more for these roles due to high demand for a limited pool of talent.

Fifty-seven percent of survey respondents (1,000 IT executives) cited an increase in IT project needs over the next six months

The top initiatives cited:

  • Mobile Applications projects -- 54%
  • Virtualization -- 42%
  • Business Intelligence -- 45%

Companies responding to the Teksystems survey said they could fill the needed roles by training existing staff to do Private Cloud Computing, IP Telephony / VoIP, Unified Communications, Security and Mobile Applications. Projects for Server Virtualization and Open Source Applications projects will require them to hire service providers and temporary consultants, while Virtual Desktop and Business Intelligence projects would be completely outsourced.

The projects cited and the roles align with Foote Partners 2011 IT Skills & Certifications Hot List Forecast, released last week, which indicates enterprises are paying a premium for IT skills that impact business, not just "keep the lights on -- IT for the sake of business, not IT for the sake of IT.

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