M&A activity drives IT jobs growth

Systems consolidation means business change experience in demand

The revival of M&A activity is fuelling a growth in demand for business change and transformation specialists, a new jobs report has found.

In its 'Professional talent spotlight -- May 2010' report, recruitment consultancy Badenoch & Clark said that the pick-up in M&A activity means that more businesses are looking to consolidate existing systems, and are particularly seeking IT staff with SAP integrated planning skills.

However, business change skills are not the only ones seeing an increase in demand. Market data specialists and IT professionals business intelligence skills are also seeing a rise in demand for reasons ranging from cost control to business growth.

"Software companies with Asia-Pacific operations are bolstering their oriental offices with market data specialists from the UK. We're consequently seeing rising demand for candidates with these skills in the UK," said Matt Gascoigne, associate director of IT at Badenoch & Clark.

He added: "Many financial services organisations are continuing to focus on cost control. Candidates with SAP BusinessObjects skills are needed for management information and business intelligence."

Overall, the consultancy found that more senior-level contractors are being hired on a permanent basis, which has led to a high level of demand for systems architect and senior project manager contractors.

This is a different story in the public sector however, as contract vacancies in the NHS have slowed down in light of the election. Gascoigne said that the slowdown has been "amplified" by the purdah -- the period of time from when an election is announced until after the election is held.

Nonetheless, economic growth has influenced a boost in salaries in investment banking.

"As the economic recovery gathers pace there is increased competition in the market for IT staff in general. We're seeing investment banking organisations stumping up counter offers to retain quality staff as a result," said Gascoigne.

A survey from recruitment company CVScreen last week showed that IT salaries in the UK had risen by two percent between Q1 2009 and Q1 2010 to an average £36,818 (US$53,680).

Meanwhile, the government revealed today that seven IT directors in the government earn more than the prime minister, with the CIO for the Department for Work and Pensions, Joe Harley, on a salary of up to £249,999.

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