Companies that need a chief information officer (CIO) may assume the only recourse is to add one permanently to staff, with the investment in time, money, and organizational energy that requires. However there is available a new sheriff in town: the hired gun CIO. Companies are increasingly realizing the advantages – both short term and long – of “renting” a CIO, rather than hiring one.
Here are just a few of the benefits of a hired gun CIO:

Precisely tailor services to needs. What is your specific need? Are you planning to update your current technology Virtual CIO/CTOinfrastructure? Are you looking to integrate new technology solutions into your operations? Do you want to expand your IT department with an infusion of new talent? Hiring from outside, there is no guesswork involved: you can choose a CIO whose skill portfolio is precisely matched with your needs. When that task is completed, if you no longer need a CIO, you are not stuck supporting a salary for unnecessary services.

Eliminate office politics.

Hiring an outside CIO services provider prevents office politics from becoming a distraction. Selecting a new CIO from within an organization can be hugely disruptive as candidates jockey for position, curry favor from colleagues, and attempt to thwart each other. The consequences can be severe and can throw your entire IT department into disarray. The damage may be particularly severe because this happens at a critical juncture, when the department lacks leadership and is vulnerable to chaos.

The aftermath can be just as damaging to your company’s fortunes. The parties passed over may now look for opportunities outside the company and, when they depart, provoke a new crisis of vanished skills. Replacing them requires another investment of scarce resources, at a time when the department should be gaining momentum under its new leadership.

A hired gun CIO can short-circuit the crisis death spiral caused by office politics and unchecked ambitions. Employees will not feel they are in competition with one another, and there is less likelihood they will feel passed over and seek new opportunities. The entire process and transition is more focused, efficient, and effective.

Virtual CIO/CTO CompanyOptimally dedicated CIO.

Speaking of focus, one of the benefits of hiring a third-party CIO is focus: a hired gun CIO is there to perform one job, and only that job. A CIO developed from within your company can never ignore other agendas, including in many cases a desire to leapfrog out of IT and into another C-Level position. As you can imagine, this can result in a lack of focus on the most important job at hand, accomplishing critical IT responsibilities.

A hired gun CIO has no ulterior motives and no hidden agendas with regard to your company. There is only one job and that is to provide the very best CIO services possible.

Conserve organizational resources. “Renting” a CIO is in many cases the most efficient use of organizational resources. Choosing a permanent hire CIO is exhausting in time and energy, and may in fact require a CIO to be accomplished successfully. It can also be very expensive: if your IT needs are modest and specific, you will end up paying for services you do not use. A hired gun CIO can arrive quickly and at a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire.

A hired gun CIO levels the playing field for small- to mid-size companies, providing them access to C-Level IT services that would otherwise be out of reach based on price or accessibility. If your company is looking to add a CIO, consider whether a hired gun is the right fight for you. We encourage you to contact our professional Virtual CIO/CTO Company and speak to one of our hired gun specialist.