The reward and recognition for IT managers is better, in many cases, by orders of magnitude than for their predecessors. IT has long requested a "seat at the table," and business now has seen fit to accommodate this request. The resulting rewards are measured directly in terms of return on investment. Question: How has the job market for IT managers changed in the past few years?
Top executives and direct reports one, two and even three levels down are being paid at levels not seen since the boom years of the late '90s, and, in many cases, critical roles are commanding even greater compensation packages. 2000 to 2001 saw many individuals leave the industry for other pastures and more than a few Wall Street technologists went on to apply their skills in different industries, hung out their own shingles or turned to the service provider community for opportunities. This has manifested itself in a current marketplace in which there is a shortage of premium talent.
Further, the executive job market today is especially robust. Most bulge-bracket firms are hiring, as are many emerging and boutique shops. The momentum and volatility of the hedge fund industry (many of these firms are attempting to leverage technology to get ahead of the compliance curve) is creating an abundance of opportunities not seen since the dot-com boom. Even so, today's hiring authorities are significantly better educated as to IT's value proposition and what it can and cannot do.
The demand for IT talent in the broader financial services industry is strong and particularly acute in the investment management, hedge fund and fixed income segments of the marketplace. Individuals who possess a proven, demonstrable record of creating genuine business value and can build winning partnerships with their front-office brethren are flourishing. The opportunity for IT leaders to impact the business is greater today than at any other point in time. The rewards that these people can expect also are unparalleled. Strategic sourcing, process reengineering and the continued globalization of business will continue to alter the reward paradigm for IT professionals, and it will be the most astute managers of their own careers that capitalize on these opportunities.