As businesses grow, that trajectory usually isn’t a straight, steady line. Without careful planning, those forward steps may be marked by major growing pains. Is your IT environment equipped to support your organization as it matures? The CIO, or Chief Information Officer, is responsible for providing high-level technical consulting—evaluating the big picture and making recommendations to smooth that growth path.
The Role of the CIO
Your CIO handles large-scale projects and IT needs. Let’s say you’re looking at moving your on-premise infrastructure into the cloud. This kind of major migration project takes a lot of coordination: rallying the troops, directing the engineers, getting the proper resources, and architecting how it will work from a business perspective as well as on the technical side. How will operations be affected? What will it cost? What risks are involved? These are all questions to which your CIO can provide answers.
Much of a CIO’s job deals with risk. What business problem are we trying to solve? What are the possible solutions? What are the risks and benefits of each? A CIO evaluates your options, makes a recommendation, and oversees the project to completion.
What about organizations that cannot afford (or don’t yet need) a full-time CIO in-house? How can you get the expertise of a CIO that knows your environment, but on a part-time basis?
Four Benefits of a VCIO
Businesses can outsource this consultant position to a VCIO, or Virtual CIO. Why go the virtual route?
- Cost Savings. Between salary and benefits, a full-time, in-house CIO may cost you between $100k-$300k/yr. A virtual CIO is just a fraction of this; for smaller businesses that don’t need a full-time CIO, outsourcing this role makes more sense. Partnering with a VCIO means you don’t have to choose between overpaying and sacrificing that valuable insight.
- Perspective. A true VCIO partner will get to know your business inside and out, becoming nearly indistinguishable from your in-house team. However, since they also work with other clients in a variety of industries, they bring that experience to the table in finding creative solutions to your business problems.
- Consulting. A VCIO conducts regular technology business planning. This should be a living document, outlining the opportunities, potential pain points, and recommended solutions for your environment over the next 3-24 months.
- Disaster Recovery Planning. Disaster recovery and business continuity are a regular part of business planning, but they’ve become especially urgent during the current pandemic crisis. This is one of the areas that showed the starkest contrast between organizations that had CIO or VCIO services and those that didn’t. As various areas went into lockdown or similar restrictions, did you have the necessary infrastructure for your team to work remotely? Do you have it now? If your team is still working remotely, can they access company data securely and without compromising compliance? What other kinds of disasters might your organization face? A VCIO creates contingency plans that prepare you for all situations.
A virtual CIO partner is an invaluable asset to your business. At FIT Solutions, our VCIO services are bundled with our managed IT services, providing you with both the technology and the high-level consulting you need to achieve a steady growth path. Give us a call at 888-339-5694 or contact us today to see how a VCIO can benefit your organization.