In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to find a business that doesn’t rely on information technology (IT) to some extent. At the very least, someone will be checking an email inbox once in a while. But the fact is that most businesses today rely heavily on IT systems. Many find it very difficult, if not impossible, to conduct business without access to their computer systems. The paradox is that while IT may not be the core function of most businesses, an inordinate amount of time, energy and money is spent dealing with IT-related matters. And while having a dedicated IT employee would be ideal, not every business can afford one. This is where a virtual chief information officer (CIO) can come in very handy. Why consider a virtual CIO for your business? Read more to find out.
An easy way to think of a virtual CIO is to regard them as an on-demand IT expert. That said, a virtual CIO could be a single person or it could be a team of consultants that rotate depending on your most pressing needs. A virtual CIO assumes all the same tasks undertaken by an in-house CIO, but rather than being an in-house employee, they’d more likely be considered an independent consultant.
There are several reasons why a virtual CIO could be of greater benefit to your business compared with hiring an in-house employee. Virtual CIOs make the most sense for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the need or the means to take on a full-time, in-house CIO. However, even large businesses can benefit by virtualizing the CIO position.
In the business world, cost is often the primary consideration influencing any decision. One of the main benefits of using a virtual CIO is that it’s generally far cheaper than hiring, training and retaining an in-house expert. This is why virtual CIOs are so attractive to small and medium-sized businesses. Laying out a six-figure salary along with benefits and office space for what may be an overabundance of IT expertise can be hard to justify when it’s possible to pay a far lower monthly fee for services that are tailored to the situation. If your IT needs aren’t overly complicated and/or you don’t have the budget to hire an employee with a pricey salary, a virtual CIO may be the perfect answer to your needs.
A virtual CIO will use their multidisciplinary expertise to look at your business functions from a fresh perspective. This allows them to create a long term IT strategy that can act as a roadmap to improve and grow your business. The fact is that most companies are too busy with their core functioning to worry about their future IT needs. However, being able to match company goals with improvements in IT infrastructure can lead to more efficiency, improved cyber security and a greater return on IT investments.
Often, a company’s principals find themselves out of their depth when it comes to dealing with IT vendors and salespeople. And that’s only natural when a business’ core function is outside of the IT realm. A virtual CIO will generally be able to negotiate with IT providers from a far stronger position. Whether it’s renewing a broadband contract, purchasing new computer hardware and software or dealing with IT repairs, a virtual CIO will have the background and knowledge to negotiate with the various IT vendors with a level footing. This can often lead to lowered costs, more efficient use of IT infrastructure and reduced redundancies.
To learn more about the benefits of a Virtual CIO, get a free assessment today.