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Published on June 16th, 2014 | by Special Guest


Interim CIOs and the U.S. Market

Verto and Associates LLC, is a professional IT services firm based in Clearwater, Florida whose focus is providing Interim Chief Information Officers across a multitude of industries in the U.S. Here, Verto CEO Richard N. Wright gives his view on Interim CIOs as well as the American CIO market and the challenges it faces. 

Why U.S. CIOs Are Interested in Interim Engagements

When considering our business model, we thought initially, that candidates would have a negative view of an assignment of less than a year or two. More than one candidate has told us that the average employment time frame for a full time CIO is only 18-24 months, so they are opting to control their own future and accept interim engagements.  Others have told about their experience of a new CEO coming on board and bringing his / her own management team or through a merger / acquisition, the IT organisations are consolidated and there is only room for one CIO.  Given that M & A activity may increase as the economy improves, many are seeking alternatives to traditional full time employment.


Not so long ago, a heavy travel schedule was viewed as a negative when considering a new opportunity. In today’s market place, senior and mid-level professionals understand the travel requirement and willingly “sign on”.  Many have told us they are willing to travel, rather than move the family for a new position.

Interim CIOs Want to Make a Difference

Interim CIOs rely on their success with their clients as the catalyst for their next opportunity - failure is not an option. Many times a CEO / COO may think they need a management consulting team, when in fact they need someone with a proven track record of delivery.  Interim CIOs are willing and capable of making decisions and supporting IT teams. They are not there to solely review the situation and recommend potential approaches to the problems.

The Skills Interim CIOs Bring

The expert interim CIO “thinks like a CEO” and will should always be expected to bring the following skills and expertise to the client:

  • Focus on alignment.  The CIO will insure that the IT team’s projects, budget and staffing support the goals of the organization.
  • Independent/objective review of the current situation and alternative solutions that the current IT management may not have considered.
  • Accelerate the pace of change required to support the organizations revenue goals.
  • Foster communications across (up/down/across) the organization resulting in clearer communication between the lines of business and the IT team.  Results include enhanced delivery of products, and less rework.
  • The Interim CIO is accountable for results not just delivery of a report or opinion.
  • The Interim CIO can recommend, gain approval and make necessary changes to processes, staffing models and budgets, which may not be “popular”.  The Interim can “take the heat” for the changes and leave a clean slate for the permanent CIO that follows
  • Cost Effective.  The average benefit “load” for a full time employee the U.S. is approximately 40% of base salary.  Many C-Level employees receive bonuses &/or stock options or grants as part of their total compensation package.   Companies can afford to retain an experienced C-level interim at total costs that may be lower than a full time employee.

In the U.S., the use of interims as a viable, cost effective strategy is beginning to get the attention of many CEO’s / COO’s looking to make most of their strategic spend / budget.

What are your opinions on CIOs? Are you an Interim CIO? Let us know your thoughts on Richard’s post.Richard N. Wright

Richard is a senior technology leader with over 25 years of experience in a multitude of industries and government agencies. Experienced in delivering large scale, complex technology solutions in payments, credit card processing, banking, analytics, and business process automation. If you would like to learn more about Verto, please contact their SVP of Sales and Operations, J. Allen Hurst via email at [email protected] or (+1) 727-501-2017.


About the Author

Alium has a network of Trusted Partners and Associates around the world who have a great amount of knowledge to share with the interim community. We regularly invite them to create special guest articles giving our readers the most up-to-date and informative market knowledge available. If you would like to write a guest article, please get in contact with Rod McInnes or call 02073987500.

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