Why Your Company Needs a Virtual CIO
Job trends are shifting, and more roles are becoming virtualized. If your organization lacks an in-house Chief Information Officer (CIO), consider opting for an outsourced individual who can perform the duties of one.
What Is a Virtual CIO?
A virtual chief information officer is an IT professional who is externally hired to perform the duties that a CIO normally would. Commonly, vCIOs are hired through managed IT consulting firms as stand-ins until the company hires a new CIO, but they can also be useful for relaying their expertise for specific durations or situations.
What Does a Virtual CIO Do?
Regular CIOs implement and maintain a company’s information technology (IT) strategy. As such, virtual CIOs are responsible for the same duties, just with a few caveats.
The duties of a vCIO cover a lot of core functions of a company. Individuals in this role extend beyond just IT and act as strategic business partners who foster innovation in the business. They assist clients’ IT departments with securing their existing IT infrastructure and help them develop long-term goals.
A vCIO’s primary duties include:
- Planning the IT budget
- Analyzing and reworking business processes to foster new changes in technology
- Advising on IT compliance, best practices, and current trends
- Meeting regularly with management to observe progress and discuss solutions
- Building a roadmap for the company’s tech goals
- Proposing technical solutions to better meet company goals
- Strengthening client relationships
- Evaluating team synergy, skills, and alignment
Why Does My Company Need a Virtual CIO?
Each company has its own specific needs, but depending on your size and overall strategy, investing in virtual CIO services is your best bet. This is especially true if your company is relatively small and has limited resources for properly maintaining its IT infrastructure.
In today’s age, a responsible business leader would be remiss to neglect the technological functions of their company. Technology covers every company operation to some degree, even down to the simplest of actions like sending emails, maintaining employee payroll, and scheduling appointments—all of which need the assistance of an established IT team when things go wrong.
And if your business lacks an internal IT department, you likely need a vCIO that can be an authoritative decision-making figure. With their expertise, your company can better meet its business objectives.
The Benefits of Virtual CIO Consulting Services
Investing in virtual CIO consulting services can be beneficial in many ways. Your company can enjoy plenty of perks, such as:
- Simpler and more cost-effective onboarding, as your HR department can bypass the long-term hiring process
- More innovation, thanks to the fresh perspectives vCIOs provide.
- Greater levels of IT expertise for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) at a much lower cost than what an in-house CIO would require
- More objectivity in decision-making and strategic planning
- The chance to better handle legacy technology problems as an outsider who can introduce solutions the business may not have had the resources to handle
- Increased availability with 24/7 support
- Stronger protection from hacking and data breaches
- A more comprehensive system for data backup and disaster recovery
Virtual CIOs aren’t the only third-party professionals who can lead your business to effective IT solutions. See why we think you should consider outsourcing your IT support more often.
What Makes a Virtual CIO Unique?
It’s easy for vCIOs to get mixed up with other terms like CIOs and managed service providers (MSPs). But the role of a virtual CIO is incredibly unique, and as a business leader, you should be aware of how to pinpoint the individual services they offer.
The Key Differences Between a vCIO and CIO
Virtual CIOs have the same day-to-day business goals as CIOs, but there are specific differences in the core function of each role. These differences may influence how valuable vCIO services are to a business.
The most significant differences deal with cost. Since the traditional role of a CIO tends to be salaried with benefits, the average vCIO role is a contracted position. Negotiation usually determines how a vCIO is compensated but may vary from charging an hourly rate or a flat fee without benefits. This pricing flexibility usually works out as a significantly less expensive option for a company than outright paying a CIO’s salary and benefits.
Another notable difference lies in how virtual CIOs are recruited. While a CIO is likely to be hired through traditional methods, vCIOs are typically contracted through a third party. Given the nature of the contracted role, vCIOs tend to have multiple clients.
Managed Service Providers vs. vCIOs: What’s the Difference?
You should be careful not to refer to vCIOs and MSPs interchangeably. While managed service providers also serve as third-party figures that effectively manage IT services, they are different.
MSPs tend to perform tasks that are predetermined by their clients, while vCIOs are more leadership-based and perform a more hands-on and strategic role. MSPs have less room to make authoritative decisions, as they follow the client’s blueprint. This could involve addressing legacy problems or abiding by the client’s budget.
If your business needs outsourced assistance that can take your business in a new direction with a long-term strategy, you should seek virtual CIO services.
Obtaining Virtual CIO Services with CTMS
Your organization can secure quality virtual CIO services through either an MSP or a reputable IT consulting firm. If your business can’t afford a full-on CIO, you can work out a contractor plan with the vendor to find the right consulting rate for your company and the vCIO.
With an organization like Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS), your small business can establish and maintain a successful technical support network. We can provide you with a full-time virtual CIO to help your business grow exponentially.
Call to Action: When you choose CTMS for your managed services, you guarantee innovative solutions that’ll take your company’s IT to the next level. Stay on top of your information technology and contact us today.
When you choose CTMS for your managed services, you guarantee innovative solutions that’ll take your company’s IT to the next level. Stay on top of your information technology and contact us today.
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Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS) supports organizations nationwide with high-quality, customizable business IT tools and cybersecurity strategies for dealerships and more.