This reads like something straight out of the Dilbert Principle.
I understand that this demographic -- IS managers -- must serve
SOME useful purpose, but my understanding ends there. Who ARE
Note at least, Rohit, that in the Holy Trinity of Clues, Bits, and
Visions, IS managers are tipped on the Vision end:
> "Money is no object when it comes to finding a CIO with vision,"
I also like the line...
> "When it comes to vision, the job of a CIO
> is to separate leading edge from bleeding edge."
Would the "bleeding edge" be what you get when you stick a FoRK in it? :)
In light of the thought that good CIOs have vision, can we categorize
people into the Khare Ontology (KO)?
None of Vision, Bits, and Clue - 97% of the population
Only vision - good IS managers and people atop tall mountains
Only bits - good journalists and book writers and web builders
Only clue - the people who actually DO all the work and research
Only vision and bits - good infosponges and infosoakers and bit bingers
Only vision and clue - good cutting edge technology project leaders
Only bits and clue - good management consultants and venture capitalists
Vision, Bits, and Clue - good CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, COOs, etc.
The mysterious "fourth force" - good at ???
OVER THE RAINBOW
Pay keeps rising for most tech managers. With the Internet and other developments, top dollars are going to visionaries.
By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee Issue date: July 8, 1996
There's a new role for technology managers: Corporate visionary. The job requires rare skills and hard work, but the pay can be great.
"Money is no object when it comes to finding a CIO with vision," says Joel Koblentz, a managing partner in the Atlanta office of headhunters Egon Zehnder International Inc. "At forward-thinking companies, if there's a $50,000 to $100,000 premium to get one of these guys, they'll pay it." In fact, the best-paid technology visionaries are pulling down salaries of $750,000 and up, according to Vic Janulaitis, president of Positive Support Review, an IS executive placement and consulting firm in Santa Monica, Calif.
Of course, not everyone can be a superstar. More than half the IS executives questioned in May for InformationWeek's latest salary survey earn no more than $100,000. In fact, the single largest group--nearly one-third of the 228 respondents--reports salaries of $75,000 or less. Six-figure salaries were reported by slightly more than 40% of the respondents; just a lucky 2% enjoy really big salaries--$300,000 and up.
That's not to say salaries for IS managers are dropping. In fact, three-quarters of the respondents to this year's InformationWeek salary survey--which was conducted by Advantage Business Research of Lake Success, N.Y.--enjoyed at least some sort of pay raise during the last year.
Nearly one-quarter got as much as a 10% raise. Pay cuts during the last year were reported by only 1% of the group.
That leaves technology managers fairly upbeat. Nearly one in five thinks their pay is excellent, and about half call their salaries good.
The large group of lower-paid executives reflects the realities of the new workplace, with a great deal of job growth coming from smaller companies. Slightly more than half of those surveyed work for companies with annual sales of less than $250 million.
The movement of technology managers out of the central IS group doesn't appear to have hurt their salaries very much. Of those who say their companies have technology managers outside the IS group, more than half say salaries are the same in a nontechnical business unit as they are for comparable jobs in the IS group. Nearly one-quarter of the group says salaries are lower outside the IS group, and more than 15% say salaries are higher.
Of course, compensation is more than salary alone--and for some, it's a lot more. More than three-quarters of the respondents enjoy a contribution from their employer to a benefit or savings plan.
About the same percentage receive bonus pay. After that, the distribution of benefits drops off sharply. Fewer than a third get stock options. Fewer than one in five drives a company car, while even less receive stocks and bonds.
The total value of these extra-salary benefits ranges from less than 10% of annual salary to more than 40%. Nearly one-third--the single largest group--come in at the low end. High rollers account for less than one in five of those surveyed.
The ability to articulate a vision for using technology to solve business problems and improve competitiveness has been a vital part of technology managers' jobs for some time. It can also help land a job. "Part of my success in getting this job was in explaining how I can leverage existing IT and new technologies to improve our business functions and create new business opportunities," says Richard Gottlieb, VP of information services at Factory Mutual Engineering Corp., a Norwood, Mass., industrial insurer.
Nonetheless, vision is more important than ever. With the rise of the Internet as a general business tool, IS executives must explain this new technology. "Businesspeople hear about Java and the Internet, and they want to know where these things fit into the company," says Robert Reinckens, VP and CIO at cosmetics manufacturer Coty Inc. in New York. "To be successful, you have to have a strategy that can shepherd existing technology investments with emerging technology."
Our survey did not attempt to measure levels of vision. But in a separate survey conducted by John J. Davis & Associates Inc., a New York executive search firm, 80 of 100 top IS managers say their main role is developing a vision for IT, providing guidance to business units, and overseeing implementation of their visions. Similarly, respondents to InformationWeek's survey say education is important. The largest group, about half of those surveyed, earned a bachelor's degree, but went no further. About one-third of the total group went on to earn a master's degree. Only 6% of the total hold doctorates. Another 14% attended college, but did not graduate. And a high school diploma alone was enough for less than 2% of the group.
Nonetheless, there seems to be a correlation between vision and high pay. "It's the visionaries that are commanding the largest salaries," says headhunter Koblentz. He thinks these visionaries enjoy salaries in the "high-$300,000s and up," at least at larger companies.
By comparison, what Koblentz calls "old school CIOs" can expect base salaries ranging from $175,000 to $225,000. Still, other perks can bring their pay packages to the mid-to-high $200,000s, he says.
Also, visionaries generally have a higher stature in the corporate pecking order, says Koblentz. "CIOs of the new school do not report to the chief financial officer or chief operating officer," he says. "They report directly to the CEO. They sit at the same table with companies' other highest executives, not behind the door. Information technology is interlinked closely with a company's finances and corporate strategy and has been moved to the forefront of what's essential in a com- pany's overall competitiveness and success."
Indeed, some IS executives say reporting to the CEO is mandatory. One such executive is Dennis Jones, FedEx's CIO for the last six years and something of a visionary himself. Jones has received attention recently for building the express delivery company's early Internet applications, which let customers track deliveries on the Web. Jones wouldn't discuss his salary.
Further, Jones believes that reporting to the CEO is essential to balancing what he calls "the three most important" tasks of the job. These are: assuring efficient day-to-day IT operations; bridging the business and technology sides of a company; and creating a vision that uses technology to blend the needs of internal business and the external market.
To some IS leaders, the role of visionary is not seen as a way to haggle for better pay, but merely to stay competitive in their careers. "Just the term 'CIO' or 'VP of technology' is a tip-off that a company or organization is looking for a person who is more of a visionary than a person who is concerned about how to process debits and credits," says Kent Keel, director of technology for the Kent School District near Seattle, which has been nationally recognized as being an advanced user of IT solutions in the education sector. "People who have MIS in their title are probably not working for a company interested in vision or how new and exciting technologies can be used to cut costs and expand business."
That view is borne out in InformationWeek's salary survey. Nearly 40% of respondents hold the title of CIO, executive VP, senior VP, or VP of IS.
For other CIOs, the true test of vision is how well they can tackle the year 2000 problem. "Many CIOs never planned for it because they figured their successors would be responsible for dealing with it," says Jeff Christian, president of Christian & Timbers, an executive search firm based in Cleveland.
Vision also includes the ability to project which skills will be needed in the future. Another task involves moving the staff to new technologies. "The challenge of executing your vision is to move your people forward with their skill sets and avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater when you move away from legacy and older technologies," says Coty's Reinckens, who worked as an IT consultant for eight years before joining Coty 18 months ago.
But vision alone doesn't guarantee job security. "I've seen many good people fail in the last two or three years, not because they didn't have a vision, but because they couldn't handle the expectations of the business people," says Ken Hite, executive VP of IS at MacFrugal Bargain Closeouts Inc. in Los Angeles. "Many business executives think implementing an IT solution should be as easy as watching their kids play games on the PC at home. When it comes to vision, the job of a CIO is to separate leading edge from bleeding edge."
Also, not every company or industry feels the need for visionaries. "In some industries, there is a real need for a meat-and-potatoes type of CIO who gets the job of the day done and moves on to the next," says consultant Janulaitis. Still, Rowan Snyder, chief technology officer for consultants Coopers & Lybrand in New York, says vision has always been an important part of the IS chief's job--and it always will be. "True vision is good leadership," he says. "It's being able to lead people to new places in a fiscally responsible way, improving current method- ologies and creating new opportunities."