Innovation or Bust: Interim CIO Animates IT and New Tech Initiatives

Chief information officers help drive a company’s growth through the efficient and effective use of information technology – and beyond. In a world of warp-speed technological innovation, that’s no small task.

An Interim CIO is particularly well-set to grab the IT tiger by the tail and muscle over the hurdles that come with scenarios of rapid change. By definition, interims are specialists in transition management, with the experience and track record to meet whatever IT challenge your company faces.

Although the role of the traditional CIO has shifted significantly over the past several years amid the growth of new technologies, the use of outsourcing, and recessionary pressures, the strong voice of a chief information officer remains vital for companies looking to drive change.

Like the Spartans at Thermopylae, they accomplish a lot with a little. In a cost-conscious corporate environment careful with its resources, talented interim CIOs are bringing to the table both the managerial experience and tactical business know-how to transform an IT department.

From the Interim CIO Field:
The temptation amid cost-cutting is sometimes to outsource, but outsourcing can harm a company when information technology strategies are no longer a priority, according to Sigurd Harand, an experienced interim CIO based in Austria.

Companies who “hire IT managers as second and third-line managers,” are doing so at their own peril, Harand said. “This is the scenario, and I believe it is a global phenomenon,” he said. Now is not a good time for a company to lack a strong voice in IT, an architect at the 50,000-foot-level with a vision for innovation.

It’s not just about offering IT life support, but ultimately about helping a company create a strategy that fuels opportunity. For companies looking for immediate opportunity and growth, an interim CIO can drop into a company for a short period of time to then give an injection of IT and strategic expertise.

Creating Laser-Focused Technology
You need talent and experience at the I.T. wheel to drive competitive advantage. Cloud technology can be used to provide an array of useful services in today’s marketplace, and CIOs and CTOs are embracing­­ their usage.

But one-size-fits-all doesn’t work across the board. Interim CIOs provide the team with tools specific to their functions and customization to make them as unique as the company itself.

Some companies are hiring IT executives to be on their boards, but that alone is unlikely to solve the problems on the ground. Definitely a field in transition.