Indian CIOs have high salary expectations in 2012 – Survey

India CIO Salary and Career Survey 2012 reveals that the Indian CIOs and IT heads have high expectations about salary hikes and career growth in 2012.

The ‘India CIO Salary and Career Survey 2012’ is sprinkled with a healthy dose of optimism that stems from an average 14% raise in salary in 2011, a confidence in the growing and resilient Indian economy, and the paucity of talent at the middle and senior levels.

The first salary and career survey of its kind for CIOs and IT Managers in India provides some interesting insights into compensation drawn by Indian CIOs and IT Managers, their expected average raise in salary for 2012, current job satisfaction and the staffing outlook of their IT departments. One hundred fifty-five corporate IT professionals in India completed the survey.

How much does the Indian CIO earn?

Salary is the perhaps the most important determinant to measure career success. The research found Indian CIOs and IT Managers drew an average estimated salary of Rs 22 lakh in 2011. Their average estimated cost to company (CTC) inclusive of the basic salary, bonuses and commissions worked out to Rs 24 lakh for the same period. This minor difference in the annual basic salary and CTC highlights the preference in India to have more fixed pay and less variable pay components as part of the compensation package. Almost 65% of respondents drew an annual basic compensation package of Rs 20 lakh or less, while 6% drew salaries of over Rs 50 lakh. Since the emphasis is more on fixed pay, there isn’t much of a difference in the distribution of annual CTC compensation.

However, variances were identified in compensation data by type of company and industry verticals. Multinational companies have better pay packages than Indian companies. Also BFSI, IT/ITES and upcoming sectors like Retail offer top Rupee to their IT managers as compared to other industries like manufacturing.

What salary hikes do Indian CIOs expect in 2012?

The year 2011 was favorable for Indian CIOs and IT Managers with 69% of respondents receiving a raise and 34% getting a bonus. With an average salary increment of 14% last year and the Indian economy expected to grow at a 6%, Indian CIOs appear to be quite optimistic regarding their fortunes this year.

In 2012, 90% of Indian CIOs are expecting a raise with 43% looking forward to a bonus. The expected average salary increment is around 16%. Compared with the global CIO Salary and Career Survey conducted by during the same period, global CIOs’ expectations look to be more in line with the reality that reflects a sluggish global economic recovery and reduced job opportunities in developed countries. About 53% of non-Indian CIOs expect to receive a salary raise in 2012.

The salary increments expected by CIOs and IT Managers in international multinational companies are more or less similar to expectations of their peers working for Indian organizations.

Are Indian CIOs satisfied with their current jobs?

Besides salary, job satisfaction is a key factor for employees in determining whether to stay put in their existing organizations or explore new opportunities. The India CIO Salary and Career Survey 2012 judged the job satisfaction of Indian IT leaders across multiple parameters: compensation, job security, competence of the IT team, support from executive management, how business perceives IT, and how the respondent’s position is evolving.

Indian CIOs and IT Managers are by-and-large satisfied with their current jobs with an overwhelming 77% expressing varied degree of job satisfaction across all the above mentioned areas. Two job satisfaction parameters that stand out are ‘Competence of the IT team’ (85% are satisfied on this parameter) and ‘Job security’ (77% are satisfied). Traditionally Indian professionals prefer stable jobs; this has not changed over the years despite more employment opportunities. Not surprisingly, ‘Compensation’ scores the lowest on the job satisfaction index with only 61% respondents happy about their existing compensation.

So with a lofty job satisfaction index, are CIOs and IT Managers actively exploring new job opportunities? Only 29% of the respondents are actively looking at new job opportunities and 70% plan to stay put at their current organizations. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents see a career growth path within their own organization, a factor that explains the high loyalty among Indian CIOs and IT Managers to their organizations.

How is the Indian CIO’s role changing?

Is the role of Indian CIOs and IT Mangers evolving from implementing and managing pure-play enterprise IT to a more strategic or business role?

About 52% of the India CIO Salary and Career Survey 2012 respondents believe that the CIO role in their organizations is business focused; 14% of them believe the CIO to be ‘customer focused.’ Interestingly, only 27% of them state that the CIO is technology focused.

Despite the focus on business growth and satisfying customers, only 22% of CIOs say they spend more than half of their time on strategic activities. Even though CIOs see themselves as strategic business leaders, they don’t really spend their time on core strategic issues.

This hypothesis is validated when we probe further into CIO responsibilities which reveal that 41% of respondents spend most of their time in ‘Using technology creatively to achieve business goals’. The fact that a majority of CIOs are far from being involved in ‘leadership and strategic planning’ is confirmed when 62% respondents say that amongst their non-IT peers they spend most of their time with colleagues from ‘Operations’. Only about 18% say that they spend most of their time with ‘Senior Executives’.

Will India IT departments hire in 2012?

While Indian CIOs and IT Managers are overly optimistic about salary increments, does the employment scenario justify the rosy outlook? When CIOs were asked about the employment trends for their IT departments, only 40% are committed to hiring new staff in 2012. Among the others, 30% have fully-staffed IT setups and 21% have instituted a recruitment freeze.

A deeper analysis of these trends shows that the large organizations (companies with 1,000 to 9,999 employees) are most optimistic with regards to IT employment. About 55% of them will add new members to their IT teams.

Nearly 33% of very large corporations (10,000+ employees) as well as 33% of small companies, mention that their IT departments have a hiring freeze at the moment. If you view this in context of CIO salary trends, it shows that while organizational budgets are under scrutiny, it may not have a direct impact on the salaries and bonuses earned by existing IT teams.


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