The latest in IT services? CIO hired guns

When interim CIOs ride into town, they might call the shots on everything from cloud migrations to app development. They’ll even deliver bad news and take the bullets.

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Damon Neth hasn't had a full-time, salaried position with a company in nearly 20 years. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

That's because Neth has built a lucrative career as an interim CIO. Highly qualified and rich in experience, he and other IT guns-for-hire possess a unique blend of IT expertise, business smarts and boardroom savvy. Rather than commit to cubicle life, interim CIOs transition from one client to the next with contracts typically spanning three months to two years, and annual compensation of six figures.

Unlike IT consultants whose roles are "advisory in nature," interim CIOs play active roles in companies' operations and their responsibilities may include "hiring, firing and making decisions," says Robert Jordan, CEO of the Association of Interim Executives. Calling the shots on cloud deployments, overhauling out-of-control IT infrastructures, negotiating new deals with vendors — interim CIOs are straight-talking, sharp-shooting agents of change.

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