The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the spotlight it has thrown on the role of information management in organisations large and small is pushing up the pay of people in the sector, according to new figures.
The results of the 2019 Knowledge and Information Management (KIM) Salary Survey by Sue Hill & TFPL shows that information professionals are flourishing amid the current heightened awareness of data protection obligations, with teams growing and salaries rising in most sectors of the economy.
A trend that the IRMS identified in our foreword to the 2017 results has continued into this, the first major snapshot of the KIM profession since the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 came into force, with a clear demand for people with the knowledge and skills to help organisations understand and meet the requirements of the new legislation.
The headline figure is a leap of 150% in salaries for those captured in the survey who hold the title Data Protection Officer (DPO) – no doubt a result of the statutory footing given to this role in most organisations. However, many other positions have also seen big rises in average pay, including Heads of Information (28%), Information & Records Managers (30%) and Information Analysts (31%).
KIM teams are also expanding, particularly in professional services, financial, legal and other commercial sectors, all of which saw at least a third of respondents stating their team had grown in the past 12 months. Many public sector industries, meanwhile, reported mostly unchanged levels of KIM staff, pointing to the profession’s resilience in the face of continuing pressure on budgets.
These figures show that organisations recognise that the skills required for data protection compliance extend beyond those of a single DPO, and include a wide range of KIM roles. Although this rapid inflation is likely to stabilise as the new regime beds in, it will be fascinating to see whether the general upward trend continues over the next few years.