Hiring a virtual CIO provides a smart way for smaller IT companies to benefit from the expertise of an experienced officer they otherwise can not hire. All businesses today use technology. There are dozens of configurations possible for businesses to tackle IT challenges. Getting the right one can be quite confusing. Hiring a virtual CIO can help bring focus to the organization. If your firm does not have a whole IT department, you might consider hiring a CIO. Here are 7 benefits you could draw from a virtual CIO.
1. Better Information Security Strategy
Organizations that handle sensitive data need a proper security strategy. They do this for regulatory reasons but also to instill confidence in their clients. A virtual CIO would lead efforts to carry out an audit to identify areas of vulnerability and apply the necessary measures in place. These include the training programs for staff members. Information security is an ever-evolving issue in the world today and thus there has to be a way to carry out ongoing assessments. The virtual CIO will help the organization stay vigilant as attacks become more sophisticated with time. Their experience and industry links can be quite valuable for the companies where they consult.
2. Virtual CIO helps IT Talent Management
A small business might need to have a few IT staff members instead of outsourcing all the work. If this is the case, a virtual CIO will help to structure their roles and to fill them up. This includes drawing up job descriptions and specifications. They will also advise on the proper remuneration packages for the roles. Consulting an experienced vCIO helps to ensure the business gets the best value possible for the money spent on IT staff.
For a growing organization, a virtual CIO will help draw up and fill new roles. Where there are high turnover rates of employees, the CIO can help fill roles quickly through their contacts in the industry. This is a great way to add agility to the business.
3. Better Management of Vendor Relationships
For a small business that needs the services of tech vendors, it can be incredibly hard to manage those relationships. The business owners might know the services they need, but they could lack the ability to evaluate the capacity of vendors and pick the right one. Therefore, a virtual CIO would help with inviting bids for a particular service from vendors. They would then help with picking the right one based on the package they are offering, costs, and demonstrated ability.
The virtual CIO helps to ensure that vendors indeed deliver as per the agreed terms. The internal team cannot perform quality checks. However, the virtual CIO would be best placed to assess that all specifications have been fulfilled.
4. Third Party Perspective on IT Issues
A major benefit of working with a virtual CIO is their ability to complement the perspective of the internal IT team. For instance, when drawing up a strategic plan for the business, it’s important to define how technology will help reach the goals. The business might need to acquire or build new technology. When such discussions are happening, the experience of a virtual CIO would be invaluable. They have seen technology evolve, and they have handled technology transition projects. The virtual CIO would advise on what technology to prioritize, how to manage the IT budget, and the challenges to prepare for in case of a major technology transition.
5. Better Management of IT Projects
As highlighted, a virtual CIO can help manage relationships with third-party vendors. Similarly, when a major internal IT project is being carried out, the fractional CIO can become the lead for the project. An example would be to build a new ERP. The vCIO would be involved in drawing up the budget based on internal needs. They would help supervise the team building it to ensure they are hitting project milestones on time. Critically, the vCIO would also supervise testing of the software for any bugs or performance problems. They will also guide the company in integrating the newly built ERP with the existing infrastructure at the company.
6. A Virtual CIO Helps to Stay in Touch with Change
Due to the speed with which technology is evolving today, it can be difficult for business leaders to keep up with developments that might affect their industry now or soon. A virtual CIO is a better place to keep in touch with such developments and to evaluate how this might affect an industry. They can then advise on whether a business should look to tap into new technology. For instance, if a competitor invests in new technology, a business might need to react to protect itself from potential loss of revenue or market share.
7. Better Cost Management & Decision Making
When a business is struggling to cover its IT-related costs, a virtual CIO can come in as a consultant to help restructure. Their analysis might reveal areas of inefficiencies. Perhaps the business might be overpaying for certain SaaS or IaaS products. In other cases, the IT team might be too bloated. The CIO might advise letting go of older experienced staff and bringing in younger people with an experienced head to lead the team.
Hire a Virtual CIO and Focus on Other Things
Small business leaders have a lot on their hands with a limited budget. Still, even with a budget, it’s hard to delegate certain sensitive day-to-day operations of the business. Hiring a virtual CIO, therefore, gives them peace of mind to concentrate on other issues within the business. A virtual CIO helps a business get the best possible return from its investment in IT. They will help make savvy hiring decisions, manage relationships with vendors, supervise IT projects, and manage costs.
If your business is seeking to hire a virtual CIO, Transcendent Software can provide fractional CIO services. We are a fully-fledged IT services company and will help you get the best out of your IT investment. Get in touch with us today.