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Under What Circumstances Does an Interim CIO Make Sense?

Posted on the 20 July 2012 by Litcom

IT Management 150x150 Under what circumstances does an Interim CIO make sense?Many organizations in transition find themselves in a situation where short term and long term technology needs are unclear. They may have an unexpected CIO vacancy, or the business has chosen to make a change. The result is a void in IT leadership and a potential slowdown in key IT initiatives.

Consider some additional situations below where the role of an Interim CIO would benefit an organization:

  • Sudden departure of current IT Executives (CIO, CTO, or VP Information Technology) due to resignation or dismal for poor performance
  • If companies are changing IT direction and current IT leader is unable to make transit
  • When your business is too small to need a full time CIO
  • To help monitor an up and coming IT leader and assist in grooming for CIO role

What are the direct benefits to an organization that brings in an interim CIO in order to fill a required gap (see situations above)?

  • Expertise. Your organization receives the expertise of a top-level professional whose real-world experience and unbiased view of best practices and vendors can make your IT department more productive and efficient.
  • Focus. You can focus on taking your business to the next level, knowing that your challenging IT decisions are being expertly handled.
  • Cut costs. By avoiding the salaries, benefits, bonuses and other perks often required to attract and retain in-house CTO's and CIO's, you are able to significantly reduce costs.

Interim CIOs are prepared and experienced to perform all strategic functions of a CIO. Their responsibilities may include:

  • Managing IT staff, vendors, contracts, budgets and IT assets
  • Designing IT process, standards, methodologies, plans, strategies, sourcing and procurement
  • Providing industry knowledge specific to your industry
  • Providing specific application knowledge (e.g., financials, HR, CRM, work management, data warehousing)
  • Representing the organization’s technology interest at the executive level

Interim CIO services present a flexible and innovative solution to organizations experiencing an unexpected or planned CIO vacancy. An interim CIO will step into the void, quickly assess the current situation and desired future state, and collaborate with business leaders to implement an IT Strategic Plan, participate in the permanent CIO search and selection process, and execute the transition plan.

A Perfect Arrangement for Small, Mid and Large Sized Businesses

Technology is constantly changing and, in order to keep up, companies need to have a reliable person help them make the right choices. Outside observers can often identify problems that other members of your team may not notice. If your business is growing, there’s a good chance your IT needs are expanding in proportion. For many small businesses, hiring a full-time CTO or CIO is not financially feasible. Outsourcing this role, however, provides an affordable alternative for businesses that need an expert to drive IT strategy without the significant costs typically associated with executive-level IT professionals.

Want to learn more? Litcom has a team of experienced executives ready to perform all strategic functions of a CIO. We specialize in cases where an interim CIO is needed to build the foundation for a smooth transition to a permanent CIO. For more information on our services, please check out

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