Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Interim CIO Jobs

While the interim position has a connotation as being directed to less senior positions, would-be interim CIOs are jumping at the chance to give it a whirl. With this position on the rise, how can you make it work for you? In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels highlights some pointers:

  1. Take the chance to become a well-rounded executive.
  2. Use your experiences to improve other leaders.
  3. Grab the opportunity to be a true change agent.
  4. Embrace new ways of working and collaborating.
  5. Don’t view the interim role as the easy option.

Investigating Interim Jobs

When you’re an interim CIO, you will have a stronger voice and people will be more willing to listen to you as a result of your “outsider’s perspective,” despite your tenure being shorter than full-time staff. Samuels notes how you can use this experience to improve other leaders:

Jonathan Mitchell, non-executive director at Harvey Nash and former CIO at Rolls Royce, says – whether permanent or not – most technology chief roles involve a limited lifespan. He points to research by Harvey Nash and KPMG which suggests that in more than half of cases (59 percent) the tenure of an CIO position is five years or less.

“The interims I meet are often people who have done the CIO role, got bored and liked the opportunity of moving around, seeing different organisations and operations,” he says. “Interims are often asked to help recruit a CIO while they’re in the position. Offering support like this means you can have a much more varied role.”

The short tenure can be used to help drive real change in an organization, because you can ignore the office politics and focus on a clear and sustainable agenda for IT. But on the flip side, being short-term means you may not be able to delve firsthand into running big projects. The position shouldn’t be viewed as an easy out and will require some serious work with other executives to make work.

For a longer discussion, you can view the original article here:

Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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