A Virtual Chief Information officer (vCIO) service delivers regular, experienced, collaborative IT consultancy specifically for midsize businesses. Their job is to develop strategic plans and budgets to achieve goals for their clients, at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. 

A focus on the right technology allows organisations to reach their business goals and minimise risk. With that said, it can be difficult to identify the right areas to focus on. This is due to the complex, fast-moving nature of marketplaces. While larger companies have the finance available to employ Chief Information Officers (CIOs), smaller companies may not. As SMEs still require IT for competitive advantage, they are unable to take a strategic approach to harness it effectively.  That’s where a vCIO comes in.

Roles of a vCIO

  • Accountability for technology, teams and suppliers – This takes a lot of weight off the client’s shoulders as selecting and monitoring these resources is time consuming.
  • Driving innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness across the business – A vCIO has extensive knowledge of how to utilise technology to improve business efficiency.
  • Using technology to increase company value, often through online and digital initiativesImproved business efficiency leads to an increase in company value, as the organisations is able to generate revenue faster.
  • Overseeing the development of bespoke software and appsA vCIO can provide guidance, ensuring the product is best suited to the client’s needs. This leads to better customer satisfaction and an enhanced brand image.
  • Representing technology initiatives to investors and other external stakeholders where necessaryThe experience of a vCIO means they are comfortable with presenting innovative ideas to board members. Consequently, this takes the stress away from the client as the vCIO will know how best to approach these types of situations.
  • Planning the technology and IT Strategy/roadmapThis provides clear guidance for a partner to follow. For companies that aren’t very tech minded this guidance is important.
  • Budget creation and planning, providing an overall ROI where appropriateA vCIO will know how best to spend your money when it comes to planning your businesses next technological move. 

What are the Benefits of using a virtual CIO? 

  • Access to senior, business-focused consultants  – These consultants are able to deliver CIO-level insights and recommendations, based on deep knowledge and understanding of your business needs.
  • Collaborative approach – The vCIO acts as an employee and an extension of your organisation – without the full-time cost.
  • Opportunity to share best practices – A vCIO can provide you with a wealth of knowledge on best practices based on their experience with similar-sized businesses.
     
  • Updates on developments in the wider technology landscape – Provides you with guidance on their relevance to your organisation and allows you to keep up to date with market trends.
     
  • Value-added inclusive service –  A vCIO service is focused and tailored to your individual needs, providing guidance to specific issues your organisation may face.
     
  • Outside Perspective – As a third-party service, a vCIO brings an outside perspective to your IT Operations. This means they can give you a first impression, unbiased advice and guidance. They also might be able to offer new ideas based on their past successes with other companies.
     
  • Provides business scalability – A vCIO allows an SME to grow without overspending on resources. 

Summary 

To conclude, vCIOs are growing in popularity. This is due to many factors; from increasing company value to providing guidance on budget setting. Therefore, if you’re an SME looking to invest further in your IT management, this may be the perfect service for your business. 

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