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CIOs' Increased Responsibilities Pay Off

CIOs' Increased Responsibilities Pay Off - What's in a job title? A potentially significant difference in annual pay, considering the salary discrepanciesreleased last week.

 Janco Associates found between CIOs and technology VPs just below the CIO level revealed in a survey that average pay last year for CIOs at midsize and large companies, including base salary and bonus, was $211,182. Those who held the position of VP of information services averaged the second-highest pay, $175,067, or 21% below the CIO salary average. A VP of consulting for IT earned an average of $165,815. The management consulting and research firm surveyed 550 companies with annual revenue of more than $500 million.

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Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, says the higher average pay demonstrates that most businesses have come to view their CIOs as senior, strategic executives. In the past, he says, many companies viewed CIOs in a technical-support role. "The CIO has assumed a different level of responsibility in the company, similar to a chief financial officer," Miller says. "A CFO is not an accountant or a bookkeeper anymore. "

 Miller says companies increasingly expect CIOs to understand their information and knowledge needs, and determine how to apply technology to meet those needs. "It's a change in the very nature of the job," he says.

 VP titles are often given to the No. 2 or No. 3 IT management positions within a company, which require less strategic input at the executive level. Before bonuses, CIOs earned an average base salary of $177,390 last year. VPs of information services earned $146,672, and VPs of consulting took in $156,772.

 Victor Janulaitis, CEO at Janco Associates, Inc, says CIOs have the potential to earn substantial performance bonuses, often via stock options. That shows how vital IT execution has become to large companies, he says. CIOs are no longer "just the top IT people," Janulaitis says. "They are the top business people who understand IT. "

 Overall, the survey found that base-salary ranges for upper-level IT positions increased 29% at large companies and more than 33% at 826 companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue.

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