Placating pay gap paranoia

Tension is growing in some companies as the pay gap between traditional back-office IT developers and front-end e-business...

Tension is growing in some companies as the pay gap between traditional back-office IT developers and front-end e-business development staff widens

Groundswell

John Riley

It is a tricky management issue. On the one side we have highly experienced and creative systems developers paid out of shrinking IT budgets. On the other, young, enthusiastic Web developers are earning twice as much from business development budgets.

IT staff have a reputation for appalling project management skills. But the fresh faced e-youngsters are far worse - making their high salaries doubly unpalatable.

How to square the circle? The prerequisite is that the business and the IT department work closely together to map the Web creativity onto the systems creativity. Without this the organisation is doomed to potentially irreparable fragmentation and eventual e-business disaster.

One IT director's solution has been to equip his systems people with Web skills. Although slow at first, they are taking to it like ducks to water, with their innate experience shining through. He still encourages Net nerds for their energy and enthusiasm. But for project management he goes outside IT altogether. He says the oil industry is the best source and they do a better job for not understanding IT. This brew provides hubble, bubble, much toil - but no trouble.

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