As companies strive to do more with less, the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is evolving. In many cases, the CIO is now a strategic business partner who helps the company use technology to achieve its business goals. However, not all companies have the need or budget for a full-time CIO. For these companies, a virtual CIO (vCIO) can provide the same guidance and support on an as-needed basis.
What Does A vCIO Do?
A vCIO is a part-time or contract CIO who consults businesses on specific needs. The vCIO works with the company’s senior management team to help them use technology to achieve their business goals. The vCIO can also provide advice on how to best use technology to improve business processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.
In addition to providing strategic guidance, the vCIO can also be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the IT department. This includes managing staff, implementing policies and procedures, and ensuring that systems are up and running. The vCIO can also help with budgeting and planning for future IT needs.
How Is a vCIO Different from a CIO?
A vCIO plays the same strategic role as a CIO, but on an as-needed basis. This can be a great solution for companies who don’t need a full-time CIO, or who are in the process of transitioning to one.
There are several pros to working with a vCIO—here are the 4 main benefits.
A vCIO can be a more cost-effective solution than hiring a full-time CIO, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
They can be hired on an as-needed basis, which gives companies the flexibility to scale their level of support up or down as needed.
With a vCIO comes their wealth of experience and knowledge, which can be invaluable for companies who are looking to implement new technologies or strategies.
Sometimes all you need is a fresh pair of eyes. A vCIO can provide an objective perspective on a company’s technology needs, which can be helpful in making decisions about investments and priorities.
When to Bring on a vCIO
There are several situations when it may make sense to bring on a vCIO, but we’ll cover the 5 that come up the most. If you go through these and one or several of these apply to you, a vCIO might be a good thing for you to consider.
1. Your company is transitioning to a new business model—A vCIO can help with the planning and execution of a new business model, as well as the implementation of new technologies.
2. Your company experiences rapid growth—The planning and execution of a growth strategy can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to technology. But a vCIO can help your business scale and can handle the implementation of new technologies.
3. Your company doesn’t have a clear IT strategy—A vCIO can help you develop a clear IT strategy that aligns with your business goals. Without a strategy, it’s difficult to make effective decisions about which technologies to implement and how to use them most effectively.
4. You’re not sure how to measure the ROI of your IT investments—Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your IT investments is essential for making sound decisions about where to allocate your limited resources. A vCIO can help you determine which metrics are most important and how to track them over time.
5. Your company isn’t getting the most out of its existing technology—If you’re not using all the features of your current technology or you’re not sure how to use them effectively, a vCIO can help you get more out of your existing investments.
If your company needs someone new to offer expert support but doesn’t have the need or budget for a full-time CIO, a virtual CIO may be the right solution.
A virtual CIO can provide the same level of support on an as-needed basis, and this can be a very cost-effective way to get the most out of your technology investments. If you’re not sure if a virtual CIO is right for your business, consider the five situations we’ve outlined above. If one or more of these apply to you, it may be time to give a virtual CIO a call.
Get in touch with us at AIS today to see how we can help you implement a Virtual CIO in your organization.