Meet Your Business's Digital Champion: The Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Over the years, technology has changed the way companies work. That is why some businesses choose to hire a Chief Information Officer to stay up to date with technical trends and developments. Let’s dive in more about what this actually means.
Throughout the years, the specific roles and responsibilities of a Chief Information Officer have evolved with the advancements in technology. The one area that remained the same was the main objective to achieve a company’s business goals by using technology.
Keeping this in mind, a CIO paves the way for digital transformation and other technical initiatives. So, you’ve just brought in a new Chief Information Officer, or are you considering hiring one? Here’s what you should know about your business’s new digital champion.
What is a Chief Information Officer (CIO)?
A Chief Information Officer is one of the top executives that is focused on the computer and technical information of a business. A Chief Information Officer is usually brought in by a company to manage its information technology infrastructure to draw up new ideas for it.
The Chief Information Officer must make sure that make sure that all plans are put forward to meet the specific goals of the company. If changes are required, the CIO must adjust to any changes requested and to keep the business moving in the right direction.
The position of a Chief Information Officer is crucial as it connects customer and business needs through information technology. The Chief Information Officer also deals with the cost of stabilizing the IT infrastructure and protects the company from any issues.
So what CIO services are provided? Let’s take a look.
What are the responsibilities of a Chief Information Officer?
Federal CIO positions were established with specific roles and responsibilities during The Clinger Cohen Act of 1996. The act directs agencies to results through IT investments and IT procurement processes. This details how agencies approach and manage IT projects.
Under FITRA (Federal Information Technology Reform Act), the role of Chief Information Officers expanded further. A Chief Information Officer will provide your business with advice and assistance to ensure that IT and other informational resources are managed to meet their goals.
A Chief Information Officer has responsibilities in six primary areas which include:
- IT leadership & accountability: A Chief Information Officer will be accountable for the practical plan of your businesses’ IT management responsibilities.
- Strategic planning: Your CIO is responsible for planning for all IT functions.
- Workforce: Your CIO is accountable for developing strategies and meeting the needs of those strategies.
- Budgeting: Your CIO is accountable for processing annual and multi-year planning and budgeting.
- Investment management: Your CIO is responsible for managing, evaluating, and assessing how well your business is managing their IT resources.
- Security and privacy: Your CIO is responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with an information security program.
The responsibilities of a Chief Information Officer have changed over recent years because the CIO has adapted and changed to fit modern and technical advancements.
Some additional responsibilities of a CIO include the following:
- The creation of business value by using technology
- Oversees the progress of customer service areas
- Approves IT architecture
By having a CIO within your business, they will aid your company in digital renovation and its transformation.
Why Hire a CIO?
Having a Chief Information Officer ensures efficiency within data management. Our CIOs can work closely with your CEO to coordinate a plan that aligns with your vision for your company.
At CyberLynx, our CIOs can take your vision and translate it into a path that not only complements but assists your company’s efforts.
What is a Fractional CIO?
A fractional CIO is a CIO who will assist your business in aligning its IT with its goals while keeping its budget. A fractional CIO is in charge of your business's information processing, which includes areas such as the operations of your data center and system design.
Some fractional CIOs can also work virtually (we’ll cover this more later) to help with your business with its technical strategies and technology roadmaps. A fractional CIO can offer your business the guidance it needs if your company wishes to:
- Invest in new software
- Incorporate a recovery plan for your data
There are many benefits when having a fractional CIO within your business. These benefits include
- Saves on costs
- Fixes leadership issues
- Offers unbiased perspectives
- Provides direction
- It gives a competitive advantage
- Advises on hardware purchases
- Collaborated with your company’s leadership
- Coaches and mentors your IT staff
What are the responsibilities of a Fractional Chief Information Officer?
A fractional CIO is different from a traditional CIO as it serves as a member of your business's management team. Fractional CIOs are also known as part-time CIOs, as many of them work on demand.
Here are some of the responsibilities your fractional CIO will be in charge of with your company.
- Your company’s strategies alignment
- IT leadership
- IT management
- Performance metrics and reporting
- Service provider
- Resource management
- Business risk management
- Business optimization
- Project management
- Security and compliance
- Contract reviews
- Team advisor
Why Hire a Fractional CIO?
There are several reasons why a fractional CIO is a perfect fit for your business. One of the main reasons your company needs a fractional CIO is to assist your company in planning for the future. As your company continues to grow, it becomes more challenging to keep track of how every area is functioning.
Our fractional CIOs at CyberLynx can keep your IT systems and their processes in alignment to aid in your company’s growth. Our fractional CIOs can also stay in tune with what’s happening with your completion where it relates to information technology.
What is a VCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer)?
A virtual chief information officer is a CIO that can serve your company on a flexible basis. The role of a virtual CIO is to draw up strategic goals for your company and manage a strategy and budget that meets your goals. A virtual CIO can be found in a consulting service, such as CyberLynx, and typically have years of experience as working as a strategy consultant.
Regardless of how your company operates, you use IT to help it function. In our technological world, technology is the backbone of just about every business. Whether your CIO is working remotely, creating, or managing content, or sending emails, technology is essential to keeping your business up and running.
Every company has IT support that can range from:
- Making phone calls in unexpected situations
- Your internal IT team
- You outsource your IT services
If your company falls under two or three, you can benefit from a virtual CIO. Virtual CIOs can range from completing one-time projects to a few hours on a month-to-month basis to keep your company ahead of its completion.
What are the Responsibilities of a VCIO?
The responsibilities a VCIO will have when working for your company are:
- They will plan a technical route for the upcoming period
- Create your company’s budgets year after year
- Have monthly, yearly, or quarterly meetings to keep you aware of how IT evolves as your company continues to grow
- Stays aware of your goals and present solutions to accomplish them
- Advises on the best practices
- Keeps your company aware of ongoing trends
- Keeps your company aware of compliance requirements and presents plans to stay in order
- Speaks to your clients regarding their technical issues
- Builds relationships with your company’s vendors
A virtual CIO can fill the role of your company regarding IT, becoming your personal tech advisor at the highest level.
Why Hire a VCIO?
A virtual CIO can provide your company with value in seven ways:
- Help set your strategic priorities
- Help set key initiatives
- Help identify ROI
- Provide methods to provoke change
- Offers input regarding compliance
- Manages the direction of your technology on a day-to-day basis
- Supports vendor relationships
When you invest in bringing a VCIO on board, you’re trusting the VCIO to develop strategic technology that can often seem like a difficult task. Not everyone can effectively complete these tasks. Well-experienced VCIO has the competitive advantage of viewing multiple clients that may struggle in the same areas as your company.
A VCIO knows which specialized hardware or software is best for solving specific problems. Going further than having technical expertise, a VCIO has an excellent understanding of business management.
Having an excellent understanding of business management is critical when understanding your company’s goals, which can ultimately turn them into a long-term plan that aligns with your vision.
What is the Difference Between CIO Services and VCIO Services?
There are many differences between a CIO and a VCIO and how they operate. The main differences are:
- Their employee contract: The main difference between a CIO and VCIO is that a VCIO is not employed by your company as a staff member. A VCIO is a contractor and could have multiple clients that they take on.
- Responsibilities: When your business has a virtual CIO, they will handle the same duties as a regular CI; however, they may approach them in a different manner. For example, a regular CIO has an understanding of your company’s internal structure, their decision-making, and which may seem like an essential skill to CEOs. A virtual CIO may not understand internal structures but can bring a new perspective and diversity to your business.
- Recruiting: A traditional CIO is recruited through a primary hiring source. In addition, a reseller may market themselves as a VCIO.
- Cost: One of the most significant differences between a CIO and a VCIO is the cost. A traditional CIO typically has a regular salary with benefits. A VCIO is usually a contract hiring where the price is negotiated. VCIOs typically charge either an hourly rate or a flat rate. In addition, a VCIO may have multiple clients, so they’re less expensive.
Why Fractional CIOs are the Best Choice
If you’re a small or medium-sized business, fractional CIOs are the best choice to remain on your budget. Bringing on a fractional CIO can give you the benefits of a traditional CIO without going into debt. A fractional CIO is the best choice for your company because:
- They’re perfect if you don’t have the resources or money
- Your company is growing, and you need extra help managing your IT
- You need leadership for specific IT projects and tasks
- You may find it challenging to keep up with IT on your own
If you think a fractional CIO would be beneficial and fit the needs of your business, CyberLynx can answer any questions you have.
Why You Should Choose CyberLynx CyberSecurity for Your Chief Information Officer
When it comes to information technology, there are several things that are just as important as having a strong and effective CIO. However, if you’re a small or medium-sized company, acquiring a full-time CIO may seem costly. If CIOs are out of your budget, that’s where a virtual CIO comes into play.
With our fractional CIOs, your company can have all of the benefits without breaking your budget. Our Chief Information Officers are experienced experts with an outstanding track record in IT management. Our CIOs can help your company optimize its IT infrastructure and protect your company against cyberattacks.
Some of the benefits you’ll receive when you hire our Chief Information Officers are:
- Strategy: Our CIOs will assess your needs and draw up plans to meet your needs, and make changes when necessary.
- Efficiency: Our CIOs can help you streamline your IT processes and improve your company’s internal and external communications
- Security: Our CIOs will identify your vulnerabilities to strengthen your security and protect your company against cyberattacks
- ROI: Our fractional CIOs can provide you with the same full-time benefits as our traditional CIOs without breaking the bank.
If your company has been searching for a way to receive the regular benefits of a traditional CIO without breaking the bank, our fractional CIO services are just what you’re looking for. Contact CyberLynx today to see just how our fractional CIOs can improve your business.
If you want to find out how a Chief Information Officer can benefit your company, contact us today to schedule a call.
Address: 7315 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 400W
Bethesda, MD 20814