Mobile, cloud, and big data pros in high demand for 2012

According to reports, Global 1000 companies are investing in IT this year to expand their reach globally while keeping agile

Recession-fueled stagnation is slowly drawing to an end as U.S. companies are signaling they're ready to sink some cash into growth and emerging markets. That spells opportunity for certain IT professionals. Companies are looking to hire and retain those who are skilled in areas such as mobility, cloud computing, software development, and big data.

Such is the big picture painted by two separate reports released this week. One comes from research company Hackett Group, titled "2012 IT Key Issues: Coming to Terms with the 'New Normal'." It identifies Global 1000 companies' key priorities for the year. The other is IT staffing company Bluewolf's "2012 IT Salary Guide," which provides an in-depth look at IT salaries and hiring trends.

According to Hackett Group's survey, company leaders have identified the need to grow their emerging market presence as one of the most important priorities for 2012, compared to 2011. They now want their current level of globalization to triple within two to three years, and among their top goals is expanding the reach of their IT service delivery models.

But simply growing and tapping new markets isn't enough. Companies want to remain agile so that they can adapt quickly and intelligently to volatile changes in customer demands and costs, according to Hackett. "Getting the right information to permit quick action can only be accomplished when mechanisms are in place to gather high-quality data, conduct rigorous analysis, and make decisions with confidence," the report says. "IT and other support functions overwhelmingly recognize this fact and are focusing their technology priorities for 2012 around the themes of improving the foundation of unified data (to create 'one source of truth') and being able to provide analysis and access to those find­ings."

Companies' goals here include implementing business intelligence and analytics applications, establishing data stewardship, standardizing master data and cleansing data, rolling out Web-based and self-service tools, and carrying out those tasks and others while investing minimally in new technologies.

Given that companies are focused on achieving significant growth without losing agility, it may come as little surprise that they are dangling larger salaries for IT professionals skilled in such areas as cloud computing, mobile computing, and big data, according to Bluewolf's salary guide. In terms of specific job titles and expected salaries for 2012, here are some specific numbers:

  • The average salary for senior software developers will rise by 6 percent or more, with an average high of $99,000 per year, though salaries for software developers across the board -- both in terms of years of experience and language -- are up for 2012. And .Net developers are among the highest in demand, according to the report.
  • Data analysts and business intelligence professionals will see their salaries creep past pre-recession levels by between 5 and 6 percent.
  • Average annual salaries for Android, iPhone, and iPad developers will jump to $98,000 -- with the high end of the range exceeding $140,000.
  • Top-tier ERP, BI, and CRM developer salaries will rise, from a range of $84,000 to $105,000 to a range of $88,000 to $110,000.
  • The average salary range for HTML5 developers will be $89,000 to $127,000.
  • Security analysts will enjoy an average salary boost, reaching the range of $94,000 to $125,000 per year.

Bluewolf identified several other skills in demand, as well as some for which demand has cooled this past year. In the realm of cloud computing, the hot skills include proficiency with Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce, and Google Apps. Demand for pros who know their way around AWS-EC is also on the rise.

In the mobile arena, developers who know HTML5, iPhone/iPad, and Android are hot commodities. By contrast, companies are cool on recruiting developers who specialize in BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.

In a related vein, companies are looking for developers skilled in JavaScript and UI design. Professionals with experience in Flash, Flex, and ActionScript will find it more difficult to get work.

Companies that are engaging in big data projects are looking for professionals that have experience with MySQL, HBase, Cognos, and Informatica. Demand for IT pros that know DB2, Crystal Reports, and Business Objects has cooled off.

This story, "Mobile, cloud, and big data pros in high demand for 2012," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.