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Less Politics, More Action: How CIOs Can Benefit from Taking an Interim Role

Are interim positions more valuable than a permanent role? Mark Samuels explores the plethora of benefits that technology chiefs can acquire from engaging in a short-term role in an article for ZDNet.

Make an Impact and Move On

A full-time CIO may not have the time to access certain challenges that need addressing, while a temporary CIO has time to design and deliver a more focused IT structure. These temporary people have the added benefit of not operating under the restraints that a typical CIO is confined in and can therefore accomplish more. However, in turn, the major drawback to a temporary CIO could be that they might have limited power. Perhaps this position only exists until a full-time CIO comes along. In this case, there is limited authority as to what can be done for the temporary business.

How the Interim Pays Off

Bill Wilkins is one success story of a provisional CIO turned permanent IT chief. He began work in 2009 at a temporary positon and through diligent work he earned himself more security. It may be overwhelming to accept a position in which there is no certainty of a permanent residence, but it does provide invaluable experience. The climax of his six-month term with First Utility was when he was called into an office and asked his opinion about signing with a technology supplier. His advice to fix the system already in place and formulation of a great plan to do so proved to be successful, and shortly after he was offered full-time status so that he could properly execute his plan.

Alastair Behenna, an experienced IT leader and consultant at The CIO Partnership, believes that a short-term position can help one climb the executive ladder to success. For instance, having a perspective that is coming from outside the organization is a useful attribute that provides an ability to approach problems differently. Thus, short-term CIOs can share fresh insights and forge alliances while remaining unthreatening because of their temporary status.

Interims hold their merit and provide a great deal of value to an organization. Their skill set is equipped and in their favor to make a difference in the organization. You can read the original article here:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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