The Harvey Nash survey revealed 64% of global CIOs have received the same base salary, compared to 62% of UK CIOs, within the past year - while 35% saw a pay increase. [See also: CIO salary survey 2016 - How much are CIOs earning | CIO vs CTO vs CDO salaries]

Following the EU referendum result and market uncertainty, negotiating a better salary for a CIO may be harder to achieve. Nevertheless, in the last year more than a third CIOs in the UK received increased compensation in the last year according to the 2016 Harvey Nash CIO Survey. Here is our guide in negotiating a better salary in getting the salary you deserve.

CIO salary negotiation - Research

The competition for the role of a CIO can be fierce, while 56% of CIOs report directly to the CEO according to the CIO 100.

It can be uncomfortable pitching for a better salary, but it is worthwhile researching how much a CIO should be earning. Factors such as a location, experience and industry sector play an integral part of how much you are worth. Sites such as and are great for understanding the background to your role and the market rate.

A realistic view of a salary can be backed up with facts allowing the CIO to be confident for when persuading for a raise. Looking at fellow competitors and taking into account their organisation size can contribute in how much the employers can afford to pay their CIO. Not relying on one piece of data or source will set your own salary expectations in getting the same reasonable amount as fellow CIOs.

A CIO should not find the process of pitching for a higher salary stressful. A great way to advance your salary is to keep track of your weekly achievements and accomplishments since starting the role.

A journal of the projects you have been involved in and how you have met the responsibilities in the job description can help the negotiation. Listing the successes you have brought to the company, through products and services, can demonstrate your leadership in the role and your value to the business.

CIO salary negotiation - The right timing

As technology sectors and IT departments are facing budget cuts and setbacks, negotiating a salary can often be overlooked by employers.  

The right timing is key for CIOs and can help push them towards a higher salary and their next career move.

CIOs should ask for a pay rise during appraisements and personal recognition by employers.

In some organisations, a set pay review takes place where employees’ salaries are raised and discussed.

During the assessment, CIOs should list their recent achievements since their last review with 59% of leaders feeling underpaid, according to the Spiceworks survey.

A CIO should be objective while being assessed as it can be a great chance to receive feedback on their role and how they can improve their overall performance.

A lack of recognition has led to 15% of CIOs changing roles according to Harvey Nash, up by a quarter than the previous year.

While consistent performance can help CIOs towards a higher salary, timing and recognition play a vital part for a successful negotiation. 

CIO salary negotiation - Communication

Presenting the achievements through brief bullet points will showcase how you have reached the set goals of a CIO and how you plan on moving forward within the company. Documenting the progress will give evidence in why you deserve the higher salary identifying your value to the company.

Employers will be hard to bargain with, in wanting to offer the employee less than the expected salary. In the pitch, a CIO needs to leave room for negotiation with research from the wage findings having leeway in the salary range.

A CIO needs to be confident and project it is not a money-motivated pitch. A detailed list of what your motivations are can be responsibility, growth and development led helping improve the CIO's level of engagement in the role.

CIO salary negotiation: Don’t be put off by no

In some organisations, CIOs are not always successful at negotiating a pay rise.

The negotiation process should be taken as an opportunity for CIOs to push themselves in their role and to be valued within their organisation.  CIOs should communicate their future potential as an employee and why a salary increase can push them towards a greater performance and business growth.

Often, employees can lose focus and motivation after a setback, but through setting realistic salary goals, gathering supporting data and not underselling themselves, CIOs can negotiate a good salary increase.

CIO salary negotiation - Bonus and values

Negotiating for a higher wage can be tricky in getting the balance right. A CIO should use positive language rather than making a list of demands of what they want from the employers with a focus on "we" rather than "me". By demonstrating how it will benefit the enterprise as a whole rather than the individual CIO's needs.

While if you don’t ask you don't get, a higher compensation package might not be the main priority for a CIO during negotiation. In case there is significant pushback in negotiating a higher salary, then having a back-up plan with alternative benefits may be the next step for a CIO. Looking at the whole package with bonuses such as working from home, extra holiday or a day off can be just as important. These alternative benefits will motivate the CIO in their role valuing their position with the business.

Demanding more money may leave your employee wondering what your true motivations are as to whether or not you care about the future of the company as a CIO, but by playing your cards right you can have more success in your negotiations.

CIO salary negotiation: Know what you are asking for and take time to think about the negotiation

Asking for a salary increase should be for the right reasons.

CIOs should take the time to think about why they deserve a pay rise with this reflecting on the increased amount.

A review is a great chance for CIOs to explain why they are deserved of a pay rise whether its consistent performance, company loyalty or skill set.

While employers may not offer the initial salary you discussed CIOs should not feel compelled to agree to their negotiation straight away. CIOs should take their time whilst thinking about the offer being made with a follow up response being made within the next couple of days to employers. This can demonstrate a CIO’s leadership skills by staying in control of the situation.