Outsourcing IT infrastructure is a concept that has been around for a while. Characterized in terms of technicians and engineers, workstations and servers, the idea of outsourcing your basic IT needs is something with which most businesses are familiar. But there is a new level of IT management that brings with it efficient and proactive IT strategy that has led many companies to consider outsourcing their technology needs on a higher scale: the virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO).
A vCIO is an experienced, high-level professional that companies can utilize to strengthen and expand their IT strategy. They bring their personal experiences and a network of knowledgeable technical resources to work with you to determine the best IT solutions for your business. A vCIO takes a seat at your table, and is focused on understanding your business and how technology can support to your strategic initiatives and goals in order to help lead your business to success.
Here are a few ways vCIOs can assist your company:
1. Creating an IT Strategy
In order to be successful and as efficient as possible, you need a cohesive and comprehensive IT strategy in place that is able to develop and grow with changing business needs. With a vCIO, you have a partner who has the technical background and planning expertise to work with you to develop your strategy, IT budget, and find ways that IT can assist with overall objectives and goals. The goal of a vCIO is to drive your IT strategy forward so that you and your business are utilizing technology in the most efficient, cost-effective and productive way to support growth and profitability. Your vCIO works with you to fully understand how your business defines success and where you want to be in 5-10 years, so they can help find solutions on how IT can be better implemented throughout the company and support initiatives across all departments.
2. Identifying New Opportunities
Technology is constantly evolving and providing new opportunities for businesses. A vCIO serves as your executive who is plugged into the rapidly changing world of technology and can help identify new developments that reduce costs and increase efficiencies so that you can find that competitive edge and take advantage of new technology. This allows your business to leverage those new efficiencies and break away from the competition on other selling points, like speed or pricing. Additionally, a vCIO can assist with putting together a business case for new solutions. They can help share and discover the return on investment that a new technology may provide for your business. A vCIO can also work with you to discover new opportunities with your existing technologies so that your business’ IT is as efficient as possible.
3. Planning and Managing Major IT Projects
IT project planning for initiatives, such as operating system migrations or large workstation upgrades, can take a lot of time and require an intense level of detail management and timing to get it right. This can create a bandwidth problem for businesses of any size. vCIOs can be utilized for a full-time, supervisory role to ensure that the project is complete without requiring a full-time commitment before or after the project. This can drastically cut the cost and time requirements for these large projects, and leave your business with more capital afterwards.
4. Creating Contingency Plans
Nothing in life operates perfectly 100% of the time, and technology is no exception. How your business reacts when things go wrong can drastically change the effects of an emergency, and having a strong contingency plan in place can save your business unmeasurable amounts of time and money. Planning for the unexpected can be a challenge for someone without technical training to foresee worst-case scenarios and know how to plan for them, which is where a vCIO comes in. A vCIO can help your organization develop outage, disaster recovery, information security breach, and other plans to ensure that problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently, with as little business impact as possible.
5. Managing IT Vendors
Many companies have a variety of IT vendors, and may outsource a few of their IT functions or their entire department, which can be a major undertaking, especially for a company without an internal technology lead. With a technical executive like a vCIO in place, they can manage provider relationships and ensure that any outsourcing transition and implementation runs smoothly. A vCIO can assess your needs and compare pricing to prevailing local and national averages to make sure you are getting the best deal possible and are not being overcharged by your vendor. They can also properly vet and evaluate potential candidates for technical ability and company fit so that your company can get the most out of its IT.
Using a vCIO can be an extremely beneficial investment that can lead to cost-savings and a competitive advantage for your business. Contact us today to learn how leveraging a dedicated vCIO can help you win with IT.