Midmarket CIO Briefings

Information technology staffing and IT management for the midmarket

Managing an IT staff is a challenge for any technology manager or executive, and the constantly changing infrastructure doesn't do much to alleviate the pressure. The burden of spending wisely and making smart decisions in technology and staffing rests squarely on the shoulders of the CIO or technology manager. With the changing role of IT within the organization, the criteria for hiring and managing staff members has also changed. Get the latest information technology staffing and management tips, news and other resources to help you make smart decisions.

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  Rise in IT value drives boost in pay, bonuses
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Two years ago, the First National Bank of Olathe in Kansas faced a seismic business shift with online banking that forced the midmarket company to become technically savvy and strategic. So First National hired Tony Vargas as its first vice president of technology, making him the highest-paid vice president in the bank's history.

Then Vargas scored a perfect 1.0 on his annual performance review and received "a great bump" in both salary and bonuses, he says. First Bank also plans to give him the lofty title of CIO. "Technology is taking on an important role here," he said. "The business purpose it serves has created an environment where ... technologists who have an understanding of both worlds are in high demand. I believe this has driven salaries upward."

As midmarket companies undergo a sea change with technology, many IT leaders like Vargas bear witness to a rising tide in prestige and compensation. SearchSMB.com recently surveyed nearly 2,000 IT leaders and found that the average salary for 2007 was $89,326, up from $84,731 in 2006, an increase of 7%. More impressively, some 500 respondents received an average of $18,585 in bonuses for 2007, up from $14,138 in 2006 -- a 26% spike.

Learn more in "Rise in IT value drives boost in pay, bonuses." Also:

  CIOs: Technical support teams understaffed
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You're not the only one whose technical support staff is working on a wing and a prayer.

A survey from staffing firm Robert Half Technology in Menlo Park, Calif., finds that CIOs believe their technical support teams are 40% smaller, on average, than they should be.

The survey, of some 1,400 CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, found that the mean ratio of employees to technical support staff was 136-to-1 When the CIOs were asked to give the ideal ratio, however, the mean response was 82-to-1.

Find out more in "CIOs: Technical support teams woefully understaffed." Also:

  MBA no silver bullet for SMBs yet
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Call it the great CIO paper chase. Many midmarket CIOs are eyeing technical certifications and business degrees -- particularly the MBA -- to advance their careers. Some want the training to help make better decisions at their small to midsized firms. Or they want to improve interactions with business peers. Others hope the degrees will help them move up to bigger companies and higher pay.

SearchSMB.com recently surveyed more than 1,000 IT leaders at small to midsized companies and found that 65% of respondents have technical certifications and advanced degrees or are currently enrolled in programs to earn them. Nearly 45% want to move up in their organization, in IT or overall. And 18% aspire to move up to a larger company altogether. Advanced degrees can help you get there.

Learn more in "MBA no silver bullet for SMBs yet." Also:

  • CIO certifications: Do they matter? (SearchCIO.com)
    Many CIOs are certified in project management, ITIL and Six Sigma, according to the recent SearchCIO.com salary survey. But do certifications really matter?
  IT rank and file nervous about security
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Despite few actual cases where the CIO or anyone within the IT ranks is fired because of a security breach, a new survey from King Research in Novato, Calif., found that 73% of the 256 IT workers polled are very concerned they will lose their job in the event of a security breach. More than half of the respondents were from medium-sized companies.

"IT professionals are not confident with their present security measures," said Rob Meinhardt, CEO of KACE Networks Inc., the Mountain View, Calif.-based systems management appliance firm that commissioned the survey.

About 65% of the respondents admit to not taking all the steps they should, the survey found. "So they're vulnerable," Meinhardt said. "They're not taking the next steps to protect their own jobs."

But the guys on the front lines aren't as empowered as they should be either, say experts, particularly in medium-sized companies where IT workers tend to be generalists. When you take a generalist and expect them to handle a complex problem with a complex tool, something is going to fall through the cracks.

Find out more in "IT rank and file nervous about inadequate security." Also:

  Short CIO tenures paralyze IT
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Despite few actual cases where the CIO or anyone within the IT ranks is fired because of a security breach, a new survey from King Research in Novato, Calif., found that 73% of the 256 IT workers polled are very concerned they will lose their job in the event of a security breach. More than half of the respondents were from medium-sized companies.

"IT professionals are not confident with their present security measures," said Rob Meinhardt, CEO of KACE Networks Inc., the Mountain View, Calif.-based systems management appliance firm that commissioned the survey.

About 65% of the respondents admit to not taking all the steps they should, the survey found. "So they're vulnerable," Meinhardt said. "They're not taking the next steps to protect their own jobs."

Learn more in "Short CIO tenures paralyze IT." Also:

  More resources
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This was first published in January 2008

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