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Automating complex processes, exploiting e-commerce, leveraging mobile, improving service delivery and regulatory compliance are just some of the drivers for improvement programmes and new projects that need IT leadership and change management expertise.

Project management is becoming more business driven and there is real demand for those who can deliver the required project management and industry expertise alongside well honed communication and collaboration skills.

 Click here to request your copy of our IT Salary and Benefits Guide for 2013.

Soft skills are a big factor when hiring project managers, but are even more of an important consideration for permanent roles, where candidates need to deliver the required technical skills and be a good fit for the organisation and its culture. Larger corporate organisations may put more emphasis on hiring project managers who can manage demanding business leaders, large budgets and apply structured methodologies. Smaller organisations may need project managers who can get things done and be flexible to changing requirements. So applicants need to consider the unique needs of each organisation and tailor their approach accordingly.

Organisations in all sectors want to improve service and delivery, enhance collaboration, drive through efficiencies and use technology to streamline and automate complex and labour intensive processes. So, project and change management skills are needed in areas such as business intelligence, customer facing systems, cloud infrastructure, and enterprise resource planning systems (ERP).

E-commerce and mobile are also likely drivers of demand for project and change management specialists over the next few years. We have all become insatiable consumers of information. We expect it to be at our fingertips 24/7, wherever we are and on whatever device we have to hand. We want to make faster, smarter more well informed decisions whether we are trying to close a deal, manage our expenses claims, or browse and buy goods online. So many of the new projects that are attracting funding and generating more IT jobs involve e-commerce and mobile device technology that can deliver benefits to those inside an organisation and to their customers and suppliers on the outside.

Demand for project and change management skills in the public sector is evident as efficiency projects such as establishing shared services are driven through. With budget approvals secured for the new financial year, public sector organisations will start to rebuild their departments and future proof their organisations.

With the banking and financial services industry under pressure from regulators and in a seemingly permanent state of change, demand for high calibre project and change managers persists. Change programmes are underway to satisfy regulatory requirements, as well as supporting efficiency programmes and continued technology advancement projects. Banks embarked on huge organisation redesign projects in 2012 that saw them impose hiring freezes and headcount reductions as they sought to manage their costs. As part of their cost reduction efforts, banks are increasingly building their own in-house systems rather than relying on third party suppliers.

Salaries for project and change management professionals have been relatively flat during the past year and there are no signs that they will dramatically increase during the next year. IT budgets remain fairly stable and as the squeeze to get more for less looks set to continue, candidates need to be flexible about location and salary. Specialist contractors continue to be able to command good rates where project budgets allow and in industry specific niches. Overall, however, supply is still outstripping demand, so on the whole employers can take their pick from the best project talent in the market.

 Click here to request your copy of our IT Salary and Benefits Guide for 2013.

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