To say that the telecoms market is in a state of flux may be somewhat of an understatement currently. With recent consolidations, mergers and acquisitions the market is fast transforming into a smaller group of mega operators. This development has brought about an environment of change and uncertainty that is holding up crucial decision making and recruitment processes across the world but the use of interim managers is helping.

Telecoms operators have the dual challenge of diversifying their products and services, whilst also trying to map the world digitally in order to retain a competitive edge. In this backdrop, many are demanding experienced interim managers and executives to see through projects and programmes that will improve business performance.

Emerging markets are a popular area for these telco interims, especially across developing economies where products like mobile payments have taken off, way before the western world. This demand for new technology in new geographies has exposed a need for a breed of TMT interim managers with strong international experience in areas such as Africa and the BRICS group of countries. The pace of constant evolution requires interim management expertise in order to further “network the world” and remain ahead of global trends.

However, there is one further challenge that the telecoms industry has to handle when employing interims. Having experienced how an interim can transform a business, many businesses are asking them to stay on permanently, and although some are doing so, the majority wish to stay committed to their freelance career, enjoying the fresh challenge and variety that the profession affords them. The key for the company concerned is to ensure that any changes or new practices brought in by the interim are embedded in the organisation, and remain long after they have left.

It is clear then that there is a real opportunity for interims to excel in the TMT space at present. It is also clear that telco chiefs are in need of interims with the vision and global aspiration that matches their business in order to drive them forward while keeping one eye constantly on the future.