Comm bank tech spend could create more jobs

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is set to spend big on upgrading its aging IT systems, in a move which could mean more jobs for techies.

The bank is coughing up AU$580m over four years to drag itself kicking and screaming into the 21st century and has selected software provider SAP to make it happen.

While CBA refused to comment on the job implications of the upgrade, Simon Lynch, national director, technology, at Michael Page, says the move could create IT jobs, but not immediately.

The Sydney-based recruiter also warns that those responsible for the old technology, some of which dates back 45 years, won't necessarily be looking after the new systems. "At the same time, they have to run the legacy systems until the new systems are in place and I expect to see some flow-through of new jobs."

Lynch says SAP developers are already highly sought after and can earn AU$100k-$120k+. "It should also create jobs for business analysts and project managers. BAs earn $90k-$120k, while PMs earn $120k-$150k but much more for larger projects," he adds.

"If [CBA] goes back to square one, they'll need architects and developers," explains Lynch. "Junior architects can earn $120k a year, while a mid-level architect gets $150k. Enterprise architects are on $180k."

Dudley Levell, director of Finrecruit, a specialist IT recruitment company for the financial services sector, says it's too early to comment on the impact the CBA move will have on the job market, however the IT market has slowed slightly. "It hasn't ground to a halt but we are seeing fewer brand-new roles coming on. There's activity but it's backfill. In other words, employers are replacing people rather than creating brand-new positions."