The last time IT found itself awash in new job titles, evangelists, gladiators and gurus ruled the day.
As IT's fortunes rise again, a second wave of new titles is swirling through the industry. But this time around, the titles reflect a seriousness of purpose as IT continues its seismic shift from service provider to strategic business partner.
"Back in the dot-com boom, we saw a huge array of hip job titles. It was a way to attract talent to have a job with a word like ninja or master in it," says Laura Kelley, a vice president at IT staffing firm Modis. "Since the economy has gotten a little better, we see it happening again. What is new is the substance of a lot of those jobs -- big-data-driven jobs that focus on business intelligence."
Indeed, the job title with the highest increase in total compensation (salary and bonus) in Computerworld's 2013 Salary Survey is one that not long ago might not have been classified under IT at all: business intelligence analyst. That job saw an average salary increase of 3.9% and an average bonus increase of 3.5%, compared to overall average increases of 2.3% for salaries and 0.9% for bonuses among all survey respondents.
The ongoing effort to capture and deploy data to drive business value puts pressure on IT to stop sitting in the bleachers and get into the game, Kelley says. As a result, IT organizations are on the lookout for switch-hitters -- folks who have business breadth and tech depth and who can address market challenges, not just solve computing problems.
Director of IT Infrastructure
At The Judge Group, a professional services firm in West Conshohocken, Pa., a lean team of 26 full-time and two contract IT staffers supports 450 full-time employees and close to 5,000 contractors. A little over a year ago, the company created the position of director of IT infrastructure to bring some consistency of process and a higher level of service to the organization.
"Our IT shop is small, with a lot of custom code," says Mike Flicker, director of applications development and data architecture, who, along with the new infrastructure director, reports to the CIO. "We didn't have a lot of strategic planning. We needed IT to move from being a reactionary entity to being a strategic resource."
The new infrastructure director, David Armstrong, has been able to advise the CIO on which networking and cloud-based technologies to invest in to bolster the company's growth plan. And he also took a portion of the IT group that had been in some disarray -- specifically, networking and the help desk -- and imposed a healthy structure on it, according to Flicker.
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