Late last month several IT contract manager positions were listed on the employment website Seek.
One was for a contracts manager for ICT production at ACC, while another was for a manager with responsibility for IT contract management at a government agency. The third was a six-month contract role for an IT contracts manager at an undisclosed organisation, but which stated that experience with government and audit processes would be an advantage.
These kinds of positions have been in existence for a while, but seeing a cluster of them advertised around the same time begs the question: are such roles becoming more prominent?
The answer is “yes”, says AbsoluteIT director Grant Burley.
“The nature of supplier relationships has evolved over time.
“There are more complex deliverables that are having to be met, and with a need for monitoring and clarity as to what is delivered, we’ve seen growth in these roles.”
The rise in the number of IT contract manager roles – and similar positions such as services and delivery manager and services and support manager – has come about partly because the role of the CIO, who previously may have managed IT contracts, has become more complex, Burley says.
“A lot of CIO roles have become more expansive. As IT has become more of a business enabler, the service requirements of IT departments have expanded significantly.”
With many government services now delivered online, the situation is quite different to that of seven to 10 years ago, he says.
“Many government services are now being delivered via the net and this requires a great deal of support and resources.”
Another reason is that the nature and number of IT contracts that organisations are entering into has increased, especially as outside providers are now used more often.
Another factor, Burley says, is recent moves by the government to make state agencies more efficient.
“It is what you would expect with the line by line reviews at government agencies. It is about making sure you get what is in the contract and what is being paid for.”
Ben Pearson, a Wellington-based director of Beyond Recruitment, says the IT contracts manager position is a rare role.
“There are a handful of larger organisations that have it,” Pearson says. “It is the exception, not the rule.”
Not too much should be read into the appearance of several ads on Seek for such roles, he says.
“It is a case of there being a couple of vacancies in that area at the moment, rather than any trend.”
Sometimes, he says, “organisations that don’t have a procurement function may extrapolate that out to various business units. That is a situation where an IT contracts manager is put in place.”
Large organisations, like ACC, have a need for such a role, he says.
“It is a lot of work and the CIO is very busy, especially at organisations where there is a lot of change going on,” he says.
The job description for one of the positions advertised on Seek specifies a $90,000 to $100,000 salary and notes that the position is a new one.
It states: “Essentially, you will be managing day-to-day issues around the management of commercial contracts.
“This involves issues such as managing high-level operational Service Level Agreement processes and working out how the interaction with suppliers and vendors might be improved in a business sense.
“It is expected that your background will have been within large organisations with complex IT systems and substantial IT spend.
“That might mean you have a background in a government department, banking institution or vendor environment,” the advertisement states.