CIT industry 'confidence' cops a blast

Sceptical IT managers rejected a recruitment company survey claiming confidence in Australia's IT industry is beginning to pick up.

According to the Robert Walters recruitment survey, budgets are improving and headcount freezes lifting, but Fluor Australia Pty Ltd IT manager Michael Stanton said there is little to indicate a turnaround.

"I monitor the industry by checking job ads and most of them are directed at administrator and helpdesk positions; I have already had to tighten my budget once this year and am planning next year's budget before September and do not expect any great improvement in spending," Stanton said.

Paul Rush, an IT director in Robert Walters' Melbourne office, said there has been renewed optimism in the first half of 2002 with particular growth in customer relationship management (CRM) projects.

Rush said the one exception to this optimism is at the top level of the market where CIO and CTO roles are extremely rare.

He said specialist trends in the market place revolved around two main skill sets, SAP and e-commerce.

"There is a great deal of activity within companies which have invested in SAP as CFOs look to get more from their initial investment in SAP or alternative ERP systems. We are seeing an increased demand for skills in this area -- mostly for optimisation migration and upgrade projects," Rush said.

Rush said e-commerce was highly prevalent with supply-chain focused companies -- whether it is transport, logistics or fast-moving consumer goods.

"Another trend that may have a big effect on the market place is 'in sourcing'. Organisations are realising that by outsourcing the first- and second-line support systems, means that you have, in effect, removed your internal IT department from your customer and the information is lost when looking at future business requirements."

Salaries:

CIO/CTO: $150k to $350k.

Senior IT manager: $120k to $185k.

Project manager: $80k to $140k.

Analyst/programmer/Java: $70k to $110k.

Database administrator: $70k to $110k.

ERP technical consultant: $110k to $150k.

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