What is an Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO)?
Chief Information Officer is the head technology executive that often reports directly to the owner/CEO of the company. Their primary role is business strategy to enable the organization to meet their vision and goals, which includes being profitable (for for-profit organizations) and reducing losses. Yet, their distinguishing strength is their technology experience and knowledge. They are leaders who can lead the technical teams to performance, be a communication liaison between operational and technical teams, and the ultimate accountable person for all technical operations. They establish the IT strategy, increase customer engagement, and enhances data security.
Interim CIO, then fills in an immediate need. For example, when a retail organization gets notified by their credit-card-processing bank that they are not qualified for PCI compliance, due to their lack of secure technical environment, someone knowledgeable, experienced, and accountable needs to jump in and correct the situation. It requires leadership to manage the entire IT team to meet the immediate need. Other examples may be for business succession or a newly-won project, such as an M&A, requiring a greater oversight immediately. Interim CIOs are fully capable CIOs who are willing to work for an agreed-upon term without restricting company leadership with a permanent employee.
How can an Interim CIO help?
- Fill leadership gaps and manage change
- Turnaround technical crisis
- Reduce waste and improve efficiencies leveraging technology and revising operational flows
- Train, mentor, enhance your IT organization through leadership and establish business-aligned IT strategy
- Enable your M&A, divestitures, or other transitions to be successful
- Supplement existing IT leadership
- Assess and provide fresh objective recommendations for the CEO/Owners
Can interim Techellence CIOs work alongside the current IT management team?
Yes! As companies grow, the functions of their IT organization changes. Interim CIOs can work alongside your existing teams.
Perhaps your CIO is less-experienced, and would benefit from a mentor who can handle the leadership role for a short term. Perhaps, you do not have anyone to operate at a CIO and are seeking a more permanent member for your team. Perhaps, your CIO is overwhelmed with the sudden increase of workload and would appreciate someone with a similar level of experience to support him/her for a period. There are many scenarios where the interim CIO can enhance your organization.
What is the typical length of interim CIO assignments?
The proper answer requires a discussion. However, a typical engagement may be 6-12 months for the CIO to assess the environment, establish strategic IT initiatives, and execute them to a successful handover to the existing team to carry forward. Yet, it may be longer or shorter, depending on the desires of your leadership team.
What happens at the end of the interim CIO engagement?
There are several paths you can take at the conclusion of the agreed-upon engagement. If you are satisfied with the results, you may decide to extend the agreement so that you continue to benefit from the results. Alternatively, you may choose to hire the person directly as a permanent employee since s/he has demonstrated excellence in performance and fit, with the CIO's agreement of course. You may also conclude the engagement as agreed. At the end of the engagement, we would love to get your raving feedback on your successful experiences as well.
I heard about other terms such as fractional and interim CIOs. Is there a difference in what Techellence provides?
The term fractional and interim staffing are often used interchangeably to imply a short consulting job. However, Techellence provides C-level leadership to work with your organization beyond a "job." Interim CIOs will operate as an employee (though not compensated as one) requiring working amenities of your employees such as deskspace and necessary access. Though they may be introduced as a "temporary" CIO, they will operate as a permanent CIO resolving any technical leadership issues you may experience in your organization.
How do we identify the length of the engagement?
A conversation. It will be a mix of understanding your situation and suggestions based on the context. For example, if you need to meet regulatory compliance, an agreement may not be specific to time, but rather focused on the completion of the work with some defined time to transition the completed work to the existing staff. If uncertain, an agreement can be set to a timeframe that you feel comfortable.
Who will be the Interim CIO for my organization?
For any engagement, resumes of potential CIOs will be provided to you for review and approval. Virtual or onsite interviews can also be arranged.
What happens if the CIO does not meet my expectations?
We will have conversations along the way to ensure we are providing the best service for your needs. Provision can be made for another Interim CIO to take over if needed.