Many SMBs around the UK and the world are slowly realising that going digital is the only way to grow in a very competitive market, but budget concerns and role fulfilment issues are all playing a part in why many companies look to MSPs for IT services and vCIOs. But what is a vCIO and what do they do? In today's article, we take a look at what to expect from a vCIO, and why they’re worth the investment.
What is a dedicated vCIO?
A vCIO in general stands for a virtual chief information officer. Typically, a vCIO should provide consultation for your technology strategy and plans as a third party and offer this outside consultation at a fee, or as part of a service.
They would be responsible for your entire IT infrastructure, to ensure everything is running as it should be – but also as if they were your CIO on-site. The only difference is that they are virtual and don’t necessarily have to be there with you.
What should a dedicated vCIO do?
As we mentioned above, a dedicated vCIO should have a few tasks to complete on behalf of your company, and with them being dedicated to you – should be able to offer time and support whenever you need it. A vCIO should do the following;
- Provide you with strategic IT goals.
- Assist or facilitate the creation of IT budgeting and expectations.
- Be in charge of managing, creating, and re-working current processes and procedures.
- Be the decision maker for large IT-related finance, or risk-based IT operations.
- Outline business and IT usage policies (or re-work them if required and already exist).
- Roadmap the current and future plans for the business's digital assets.
- Provide detailed reports and statistics to C-Level executives, or other board members.
- Build strong relationships with key vendors to play a role in financial or IT solution impact.
- Be the last point of contact for most hard-to-fix or otherwise difficult decisions relating to IT.
In short form, a vCIO should be your go-to member of staff (3rd party or internal) for top-level decisions, and documentation for IT strategy and goals. The best way to think about it would be to be a technical advisor at the top level of a company.
What does a virtual CIO look like on paper?
Most virtual CIOs should operate with the same intent as that a CIO, which would mean someone with a full understanding of various systems, technologies and business processes. When looking for an ideal CIO or virtual CIO – they should;
- Understand fully core-business processes (aligned with business expectations) and technologies used throughout the business.
- Ensure that the IT runs and is operated in line with what is expected by other board members.
- Recommends solutions to anything IT or digital-related, based on analytical research and experience.
- Can develop IT strategies suitable for use internally to drive continuous growth and revenue without costing the company excessive amounts, specifically with technology solutions.
- Has a friendly, but business-focused mind when dealing with IT & Security related problems and concerns.
Why is a vCIO worth it?
Virtual CIOs may be a worrying thought to start with, giving a third-party full reign over your IT infrastructure, but in reality – it's not like that. A vCIO is worth it in many ways, but one of the main points is the passion vCIOs have for businesses like yours.
Their goals are to improve your IT infrastructure, strengthen your security and take a massive weight off your shoulders whilst being your go-to for all IT-related concerns. Not only this but a vCIO can also;
Save you Time
Regardless of if you’re managing the IT yourself, or are looking for a permanent position, a vCIO can save you a lot of time both recruiting and taking the weight off your shoulders to allow you more time to do the job you love, without having to worry about IT related concerns or issues.
Save you Money
Hiring a CIO in general, on average, will set you back £140,000. Whilst using a vCIO service – this cost can be reduced massively. Both a virtual CIO, and a payroll-based CIO will want to provide you with the best options and most affordable strategies, so there should be no concerns about who will save you the most money through strategy.
Improve your IT Infrastructure
Every vCIO should be employed to oversee, but ultimately improve your IT infrastructure. This may be through upgrading services or systems – or just putting policies and procedures in place to ensure that systems are always running and your business isn’t being held up by technical issues. A great vCIO should put plans in place within weeks to ensure improvements are made as soon as possible.
Provide Passionate Expertise
All CIOs and virtual CIOs should be passionate about the role, and just like our own vCIO service – we love to provide a passionate, and exclusive level of expertise on all things IT-related. Virtual CIOs love hard questions, no matter the concern or question relation – as long as improvements and risks can be identified and acted upon.
How we can help you with a dedicated virtual CIO
At Electric IT, we pride ourselves on being there for you no matter what. With our Gold service package, you not only receive a great deal of IT-related features and services, but our dedicated vCIO service allows you to take a back seat and lets us deal with everything IT-related for your business.
Want to know more about our virtual CIO solution? Get in touch with us today and get the ball rolling with our amazing support and sales teams.
Overall, finding any C-level staff members can be tough, but finding someone who can fill that position for half the cost with the same experience could be a huge benefit to you and your organisation. Electric IT is proud to offer a virtual CIO service for all of our gold package customers, so get in touch and see how we can help you grow.