Why any size firm can and should hire a Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer
Your company can have a business platform, even if you don’t have a full-time CIO or CTO on your team. We can’t tell you how many times we have been in a conversation and we hear, “Wait, you can do that with technology!” Or, “Yeah, something didn’t seem right, but we didn’t have the expertise to question it.” It’s difficult enough to keep up with your specialty let alone the continual evolution in the tech space. However, it is critical as a company grows and evolves for it to get the tech decisions right. With the right software or tech partner a company can significantly leverage its investments to make itself more effective and productive with its limited resources. An inadequate purchase or working with the wrong tech vendor can lead to hindered operations and curtailed growth. As a small or medium sized company, it may be difficult to justify paying for a full-time tech expert though there is an alternative – you can hire a remote or virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) to advise you and your firm on these critical business decisions.
A vCIO is a C-level technology resource that can provide value in business-driven vision, facilitate technology strategy, and provide you with the confidence in working with and managing tech vendors. This approach is a good business operations decision as it reduces operational risk because non-technical staff will no longer solely determine technical requirements, technologies, and select and manage IT vendors. Your new, ‘in-house’ technical expert will provide consistent guidance and support for IT related strategy and issues. With their work on with other companies and projects, a vCIO brings an informed strategic viewpoint, knowledge and expertise from other initiatives, and IT project coordination and management experience.
A vCIO provides a cost-effective solution because you get access to this IT managerial expertise, though only for the time you actually need it. The vCIO is part of your team with a vested interest in your success, can call the hard shots with your IT budget, and make IT work better for you. Essentially, a vCIO is an experienced IT executive who works across multiple companies on a part-time basis helping each one to identify and implement IT efficiencies while reducing inefficiencies and mitigating risk. This approach helps your company reduce financial and opportunity costs dealing with technology, make more money by looking at everything you do (or are not doing) with IT, and to provide the best business support possible.
In summary, a vCIO helps increase revenue, improves the customer and employee experience, coaxes insight out of the growing amount of data generated by your digital operations, and helps shape strategy. A vCIO provides:
- Strategic Viewpoint
- The vCIO would always be on the lookout for your best interest in both the short and long term. With a holistic view and responsibility for your internet IT operations, a vCIO would have the ability to constructively advise or reshape requests you may make if they believe those decisions may negatively impact your overall operations. Conversely, a vendor without a holistic viewpoint may accept any and all work you request without considering the impact to other systems and business processes.
- Knowledge and Expertise
- A vCIO brings experience and insight from working with multiple companies. Most companies that do not have dedicated technology leadership often lack the necessary insight into technological developments, available tools, and best practices. The IT space continues to change and evolve quickly and knowledge of current tech developments ensures the vCIO can help separate fact from fiction and help make sound business decisions. You would have access to a team of IT experts with the knowledge and talent you need to keep your systems running smoothly.
- Coordination and Management
- A vCIO with a focus on technology and that has industry experience will understand the best ways to get the most out of managed vendors. They would help you identify difficulties in scope, time, or budget so you can more accurately predict your costs and risks. The vCIO, in proposing and assessing IT strategy would account for the complexity and interaction of systems as well as the interplay of these systems and the business as a whole.
- Opportunity and Cost Savings
- For a fraction of the cost to employ an experienced CIO, you would get the benefits of a CIO’s expertise. Additionally, CIO related responsibilities would be removed from other non-IT employees while IT related processes would be modified to free up time for employees to further engage in their core functions and responsibilities. Many non-technical small businesses are unaware of just how much time it takes to identify, screen, and manage several different IT vendors. A vCIO will free you up to focus on those tasks that are most important to you and your organization.
If you want to learn more, we are here to have a real conversation with you. Reach out to us here.