5 ways a vCIO saves your business money

If you own a business, you probably have multiple plans in place to reach your long-term goals. While your business may not have the hefty IT budget of your large corporate counterparts and their full-time Chief Information Officers (CIOs), you still should not miss out on one of the most important plans of all—an IT success plan.

If your IT department is merely focused on running your existing systems without a strategy for aligning technology’s role with the big picture for company growth, it may be time to consider a vCIO (or Virtual CIO).

What is a vCIO?

A vCIO is an expert technology advisor businesses turn to when they don't have the means or demand for a full-time in-house CIO. Some vCIOs offer their services remotely, but most companies end up partnering with a local vCIO. Although this individual is a consultant, rather than a full-time employee, he or she performs the same duties as a conventional CIO.

What are some examples of vCIO services?

vCIO services include aligning business objectives with IT systems, formulating a strategic IT plan, and analyzing business processes to facilitate changes in technology. Just as you'd rely on a financial adviser for strategic fiscal advice, a vCIO should be your go-to technical contact as well as a trusted business partner who understands how technology fulfills your company's unique needs.

Unlike order-takers, who fix tactical problems, a vCIO is a financially-savvy, business-oriented individual who looks beyond day-to-day technical support to ensure your business maintains a competitive advantage in your marketplace. 

5 Reasons a vCIO is the Leader You Need

There are 5 primary benefits a vCIO can offer your organization.

1. Flexible IT solutions

Unlike hiring a full-time, in-house CIO, contracting your IT needs to a vCIO gives you flexible service options so you receive as much or as little assistance as your company needs. As a third party, a vCIO will likely provide greater objectivity, allowing the consultant to present you with a full array of IT solutions without the pressure of internal politics.

2. The resources of a full-time CIO (without the cost)

Even though vCIOs are not a full-time employees, they have the means, connections, and know-how that make it possible to solve IT problems as they arise. Furthermore, since vCIOs understand how your company operates, even if they don't possess the exact resources possible to solve a specific problem, they can connect you with reliable experts who can help.

3. Cost reduction

A vCIO helps maximize the return on your IT investment by optimizing your technology to streamline business processes, ensuring your team has the right tools for the job, and making sure that you don’t overspend. 

4. Clear communication

Managing IT risk is vital to protect your company's mission-critical data.. You must ensure mission-critical data is safe from a cyber attack or natural disaster. Unlike a day-to-day technician who may bog you down with complicated “tech speak”, a vCIO is able to convey the legitimate value of IT projects and their associated risks in plain language without sugarcoating benefits or glossing over the technical details.

5. Comprehensive Consulting

Modern IT systems are complex, multi-faceted beasts that require a wide variety of expertise in order to properly manage. One of the great things about a vCIO is that you can often to turn to these individuals for guidance through a variety of problems. A well-qualified vCIO will be able to provide guidance on data backup and disaster recovery plans, secure cloud services, security, and even hardware/software procurement.

Other considerations

This is not always the case, but sometimes you can find vCIOs that have a special knowledge of your industry's IT support needs. This can be especially helpful to businesses that are subject to intense regulatory scrutiny. For example, if you run a hospital, consider hiring a vCIO with experience in healthcare tech support.

People in small and midsize businesses are busy. Everyone is wearing several different hats. Everyone gets so caught up in putting out fires that long term strategy is left in the lurch. A vCIO can be immensely valuable in such situations because they can shoulder some of that responsibility.

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