More companies cut IT salaries, despite retention concerns

Here’s good news for IT departments: In most companies, the tech budget appears to be rising in the coming year. However, the news may not be as good for IT staff, as more businesses say they’ll cut IT salaries. 

As more companies try to use technology achieve business growth, organizations are allocating more of the money that comes in to IT spending, according to a recent survey from the Society for Information Management (SIM). At the companies surveyed, the 2012 IT budget was an average of 4.94% of corporate revenue, up from 3.55% in 2011.

Overall, IT budgets are expected to continue growing for the most part, as just 22% expect a decrease in IT spending next year. Nearly half (46%) said IT spending will grow, while the remaining 32% said it’ll stay the same.

Bad news for IT salaries

Along with those growing IT budgets, many IT pros can expect a pay boost over the next year. The majority (60%) of survey respondents said IT salaries will increase in 2013.

However, not all IT employees will get good news — an increasing number of companies are also cutting IT salaries. At 11% of companies, IT salaries declined in 2012, up from 8% in 2011. And a greater number (13%) expect to cut IT pay in 2013, as well.

That could be a risky move for those companies, though. It may make it harder to find and keep the best IT pros, because, overall, IT salaries are increasing at the fastest rate of any field. On average, IT pay is expected to increase by 5.3% in 2013, according to a recent survey from staffing firm Robert Half.

Organizations considering pay cuts should make sure they take a look at the market rates for the skills they need in their geographic areas. It’s possible that some cuts won’t hurt recruiting and retention in some areas, but it could be dangerous, especially if the company needs in-demand skills such as cloud computing, mobile development and wireless network engineering.