IHL: With IT Salaries, Size Matters

The bigger a retailer's IT budget is for next year, the better the IT salary raises will be this year. That's the intriguing conclusion reached by the IHL Group this week, when analyzing data about IT spending with major retailers.

This wasn't simply that larger companies have larger IT departments and, therefore, managers make more money. IHL President Greg Buzek noticed salary spikes the year before major IT investments were due to hit, as though retailers were frightened of losing key IT people right before a major project so they boosted salaries to keep people from leaving.

"If you're in store operations or IT, the more they'll spend next year, the more they'll pay you this year," he said, referring to a study his company did with RISNews.

The average percentage raise for IT people working for companies with annual revenues of less than $1 billion was 4.13 percent, compared with 4.47 percent for those companies making between $1 billion and $5 billion and 5.75 percent for companies with annual revenues of more than $5 billion.

The salary percentages ranged sharply based on retail segment, with food/grocery at 3.01 percent, convenience/gas at 4 percent, specialty-hard at 4.13 percent, wholesale clubs at 4.45 percent, drug stores at 5.01 percent, department stores at 5.36 percent and specialty-soft at 5.96 percent.

But the most interesting correlation was with the IT spend. For companies whose next year budgets reflected a spending decrease, the average raise was 2.96 percent. When there was an increase that was less than five percent, the average raise was 4.53 percent. When there was an increase of five percent or more, the average raise was 4.82 percent.