We often talk about how some businesses do not have the budget to hire technicians to perform regular maintenance on their IT infrastructures, but what about the one behind the scenes calling all the shots? If companies cannot hire technicians, then it stands to reason that they also cannot afford someone at the executive level who manages their workload. The concept of the virtual chief information officer, or virtual CIO, challenges this notion by providing access to technology leadership for small businesses.
A virtual CIO is, in essence, the same as your traditional CIO, just in a virtual capacity. By this we mean that the virtual CIO is an outsourced IT resource, usually a contact at a managed service provider or company, who handles duties related to your organization’s IT strategy.
The biggest difference, but also one of the largest benefits, is that a virtual CIO takes a more holistic look at your organization’s IT strategy and how to align it with your business goals. This ensures that each and every decision made in regards to your technology also works toward your specific business needs.
To emphasize the difference between the virtual CIO and your average technician, consider this; technicians are generally responsible for addressing technology issues that interfere with day-to-day operations, and while the CIO might be involved in this in some capacity, their general duties consist of taking the big-picture view of your IT rather than the smaller moments. The virtual CIO might put together a technology roadmap or focus their efforts on new technology implementation to ensure that your company stays on the path toward its business goals.
The first and most notable benefit is the price associated with a virtual CIO. By virtue of the position, the traditional CIO is a C-suite executive, so by virtue of the position will require more compensation. Small businesses cannot always afford such an investment. A virtual CIO makes these skill sets more accessible to small businesses through the use of more affordable monthly payments. Similarly, the cost of searching for an in-house CIO is eliminated, further increasing the value of outsourcing these responsibilities.
There is also a level of objectivity that you get when you outsource your virtual CIO needs. Just think if you gave the role to someone within your organization; they would naturally have a subjective view of your company that is influenced by their own perceptions and biases associated with it. Someone from outside the organization will be more likely not to let their own opinions influence what is best for your company. It’s the big reason why many companies will hire external auditors and consultants--so they are not influenced by their own personal attachments within the company.
If your organization does not have someone helming its IT strategy, then Innovative Systems, Inc. would be happy to step into this role. We can help you make intentional decisions with how you implement technology solutions, utilize data, and handle infrastructure growth. To learn more, reach out to us at (501) 217-8484.