The field of IT contributes more and more to the success of companies in today’s digital world. Our technological leap in the last 50 years can be explained simply with an example: The “Apollo Guidance Computer” that was on board for the first moon landing in 1969 had the computing power of a pocket calculator. By comparison, an iPhone 13 could control 240 million Apollo missions. Even a cell phone charger has more computing power than the moon landing computer.

Companies today are faced with the challenge of keeping up with the latest technology in addition to their day-to-day business – and companies often lack the resources to do so. The IT department makes a significant contribution to a company’s competitiveness. However, it must not only find errors and replace computers – it must also be able to control processes, keep technology up to date, show management options for action, or coordinate and successfully implement projects.

A major problem arises when key people leave the company together with their know-how, or when the expertise is simply not available. IT specialists are more in demand than ever and are desperately needed. So-called interim managers are called in to help when capacities in the company are insufficient and/or specialist know-how is required. Interim management is used to fill gaps in management bottlenecks, to solve challenging corporate situations, to plan and coordinate special IT projects, to cope with crisis situations or even to compensate for the loss of an essential IT know-how carrier.

Interim management provider as interface

Interim management providers are the link to experts for companies that need short-term support. Interim management is also called temporary management. There are many different areas of expertise. Depending on requirements, an interim manager provided by the provider takes over precisely defined management tasks over a specific period of time. As a rule, interim managers are ready for action within 48-72 hours. For project assignments, the duration of the assignment is up to 24 months.

In which cases does it make sense to use an interim manager?

Interim management has been successfully used by companies worldwide since the 1970s. According to a study by Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, interim mandates have a very high success rate. The queried index “Return on Interim Management” is positive in 85.7% of all projects. In other words, the personnel costs for interim managers sometimes pay for themselves many times over the daily rates. IT interim managers are used in the following situations:

  • Restructuring or reorganization of the IT department
  • When introducing new software
  • To bridge unforeseeable vacancy
  • In case of failure of know-how carriers
  • In crisis situations (e.g. malware and virus infestation)
  • IT Project Management
  • Acquisition or disposal of companies with IT departments
  • Trouble Shootings
  • IT process optimization
  • Establishment and further development of management systems

Difference Management Consultant and Interim Manager

There is often uncertainty as to whether a management consultant or an interim manager is the right thing to do. The two areas are similar, but have crucial differences. An interim manager is responsible for a very specific task / subject area, which he works on together with the existing employees in the day-to-day business. The management consultant, on the other hand, tends to bring cross-industry knowledge and provides concepts and methods to work out a solution to a problem. For the most part, it does not intervene in day-to-day operations. There, people tend to analyze, advise or develop strategies. The interim manager performs operational and administrative activities for the company. When the interim manager leaves the company, he usually leaves behind an implemented solution. When a management consultant leaves the company, he leaves behind a strategy and methods, and the development of the solution only begins now. As a rule, interim managers have a closer relationship with the company, similar to permanent employees and managers.

Management consultant or interim manager?

Companies like to draw on the knowledge and experience of experts in difficult situations. However, there is often uncertainty as to whether a management consultant or an interim manager is the man or woman of the hour. Questions about strategy, operations, and functional tasks land on the desks of both management consultants and interim managers with ever-changing facets – but basically similar. So when do I use a management consultant, when an interim manager.

On the financial side, the differences are more pronounced: Management consultants have daily rates of up to 5,000 euros, with the costs of operational implementation added on top. The average daily rate of an interim manager is (as a rule of thumb) about 1% of the annual gross remuneration of an equivalent manager in a permanent position. As mentioned above, the interim manager not only acts strategically (like the management consultant), but also delivers an enormous P&L-effective output with his additional operational input.


Critical business situations require fast and efficient solutions. Especially when key people with specialist know-how leave the company. In such cases, more and more companies are opting for interim managers because they are regarded as technically competent problem solvers and enjoy a good reputation. With a network of specialized IT know-how, our experts at CosH can also assist you as interim managers.

*Text Note: In the article, for ease of reading, we refer to “interim managers” , “IT professionals” and “employees”, this of course includes all genders.