14 Reasons You Need To Get Virtual CIO Services For your Business
Technology is at the heart of every business nowadays, no matter which industry they are a part of. It runs everything you can imagine. From ensuring cybersecurity to managing payments, and from tracking shipments to running communications, technology is hardwired in every aspect of business.
The duties of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) may be easy to handle if you are a start-up but it gets complicated as you grow. Eventually, you will need someone to overlook the technical aspects of the business and your layman's knowledge won’t be enough.
If you are wondering whether your company needs virtual CIO services or not, this article will help you figure it out and answer some of the frequently asked questions related to a vCIO.
What is a vCIO?
Before deciding whether you need the assistance of a vCIO or not, it is important to learn what exactly a vCIO is. A Virtual Chief Information Officer provides the technology vision that your company needs as well as plan strategies to promote business growth.
They work in collaboration with your executive leadership and help them make the best decision for your company. With their expert advice and extensive experience, a vCIO can provide a strategic edge to your business, giving it an upper hand on the competition.
As opposed to an in-house CIO, a vCIO works remotely and on a subscription basis. They are more readily available than a conventional CIO and are hired through a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
Who Needs to Hire vCIO?
Hiring a vCIO is a good decision if you are a small business that doesn’t have the resources to hire an in-house CIO but is large enough to have IT infrastructure needs. Your company might also need their assistance if you have hundreds of employees who have a lot on their plate and not enough time to look into new tools and technologies.
You can also hire a vCIO if you need an unbiased vision and opinions regarding your business strategies. A lot of companies fall under these categories. All you have to do is look around, assess your needs, and figure out if you are an ideal fit for a vCIO.
Why Do You Need To Get Virtual CIO Services?
Having access to expert IT advice and in-person meetings can cost you a fortune. Since CIOs work on a contract basis with a fixed salary, they are usually out of your budget especially if you are an SMB or a new enterprise. After summing up the salaries, benefits, and training of the IT staff you will have an exorbitant amount on your hand.
Valuable skills and knowledge are expensive, but if you hire a vCIO, it will cost you considerably less. By hiring a vCIO, you will save a mountain of money and all the peripheral costs of hiring talented IT staffers will disappear including overhead expenses, insurance, benefits, and training charges.
Get Expert Advice
Imagine having access to expert IT consultation round the clock; don’t you see your business flourishing? Working with a vCIO can ensure a roadmap for your future IT that can be valuable in planning your business goals and objectives.
What makes a vCIO proficient at what they do is that they are not burdened with a million day-to-day responsibilities. vCIOs work with different clients all over the world so they are bound to have a deep background and industry experience necessary to create a technology roadmap required to execute a vision.
Get a Fresh Perspective
Since a vCIO is not involved with the day-to-day activities of the company, they are not aware of the internal politics that go around in the office. When you are too close to a project or the people who are a part of it, you may lack the unbiased lens required to give useful advice.
vCIOs can provide a fresh perspective because they view company decisions through an unbiased lens. Their insight can prove valuable when assessing needs, solving a company’s IT problems, implementing new technology, and taking big decisions.
In a nutshell, their opinions and views can promote the growth and success of your company.
Due to their experience working with multiple clients, vCIOs learn a lot through trial and error. They know which solutions work best for which problems. Their innovative capabilities ensure that you never run out of new ideas and strategies.
Proactive Network Maintenance
vCIOs are generally proactive when it comes to working out IT solutions. Their relationship with your company is rooted in technical alignment and business impact. Rather than incorporating technologies that their client might not need or that don’t align with your business goals, vCIOs find out what your enterprise lacks and work to introduce them efficiently.
Implement New Technology
Technology is always evolving and there is always something new that your business can benefit from. A Chief Information Officer should learn to stay relevant and up-to-date with industry trends.
Ask yourself, do you or your in-house CIO spend any portion of your time looking for new tools that might benefit your company? If not, then you need someone who is intimately aware of the software solutions hitting the relevant industry.
You need a vCIO who can decide which technologies can improve your functionality and which will only create more inefficiencies and distractions.
One of the most important jobs a virtual CIO has is to ensure that your company is compliant with the rules and regulations applicable to the industry. Being incompliant with these laws is a serious offense that can lead to dire consequences such as:
- Payment of hefty penalties which causes substantial financial loss to the company
- Huge blow to the public image and reputation of the company
- Raises questions on the credibility of the enterprise
- Blacklisting of the company by different regulatory organizations
vCIOs are responsible for making employees aware of the legislation that they need to adhere to. Under their supervision, your company will have greater chances of implementing ethical practices and honorable behavior.
While you can’t always predict when a disaster is going to strike or how you can often prepare for it beforehand. Having a CIO onboard can make dealing with disasters easier. With their IT roadmap and a business continuity plan, your company will jump on its feet faster and with better tools.
Data Integration and Management
Another significant responsibility specific to a vCIO is data management and integration. Your company must be storing hundreds of terabytes of data and most probably that data would be unstructured and poorly organized. If you need to access this data, it might take longer than it should and you might not even know how to use it effectively.
vCIOs are skilled in creating a viable data management strategy that can streamline a lot of IT processes such as assisting in tracking KPI, and improving the company’s decision-making. They play a pivotal role in finding cost-effective methods to migrate data and eliminate data loss.
With increased ease of hacking, the risk of cyber attacks is climbing exponentially. If you wish to be a successful business, you need to prioritize your company’s protection from these attacks. Hiring a vCIO is the first step you should take in that direction.
A vCIO will put all the basic security layers in place so that you are not vulnerable to a breach of security. They know how to put barriers around your networks so that an outsider looking to access your data fails to do so. This is not a job for a layman because it requires expertise from someone who is intimately aware of IT security solutions.
Planning IT Budget
Planning an IT budget and delegating the funds you have to different investments is crucial for future strategy planning. Not putting aside funds for future needs will lead to both a loss of time and a surprise loss of money.
A vCIO can predict your IT needs and allot budgets to hardware or software updates, improvement in IT processes, and getting new tools. This will also save your employees a lot of grief and their daily activities won’t be slowed down by poor IT performance. You can expect a boost of productivity and a reduction in overall employee frustration.
Preparing for Audits
vCIOs are trained to manage the Information Technology component of the annual financial audit. They will examine and assess whether you are ready for an external audit by conducting internal audits first and streamlining everything related to IT.
vCIOs can sometimes have a bigger impact on your business than just the IT department. They can tap into the hidden potential of your employees and uncover new ways to leverage technology that you might have never imagined.
To do this, they will delve deep into the company’s background, operations, employee performance, and ethical practices. By looking at things on a micro level, vCIOs can detect bottlenecks, inefficiencies, operational gaps, manual data entry, and duplicate work.
To overcome these shortcomings, a vCIO recommends technological tools or how to use the existing solutions.
Do you want to get a competitive advantage over your rival companies? Becoming technologically superior to them is a sure way to beat them in becoming the best enterprise in the industry.
Setting a vision for your business with respect to Information Technology can improve your operations significantly and help you achieve a level of proficiency that you would fail to achieve otherwise.
You need expert advice from a CIO to plan a roadmap, budget IT investments, protect yourself from cyber-attacks, manage your data, and prepare for disasters. A virtual CIO is a cost-effective method to improve your business without having to hire an in-house CIO.
Look into hiring a well-rounded vCIO if you want to grow your business and stay relevant to the new trends in the industry.
FAQs1. How much does it cost to hire a vCIO?
The fee of a vCIO depends on how much workload they have and how much you need their assistance. They definitely charge less than a CIO does but as a rough estimate, you should expect anywhere between $100 to $200 per employee per month. At CyberLynx we tailor the service and pricing to fit your budget and needs.
2. What is the difference between a vCIO and a conventional CIO?
A vCIO is not bound by traditional contracts like a CIO is. They have their own terms, no fixed salaries, and no added benefits. Additionally, they almost always work through an MSP while a CIO is hired through regular networks.
3. What should I look for in a vCIO?
A vCIO should be knowledgeable, experienced, available round-the-clock, and innovative. They should have great interpersonal and communication skills.