Do you need a vCIO?

Many small to medium enterprises will take the approach that a chief information officer, even a virtual chief information officer – a VCIO are way beyond affordability. This could be one of the biggest mistakes of their business decision making processes.

Any business regardless of size that seeks to leverage technology to grow, will need advice, support and information relating to how they can and should use technology to their advantage. Even start ups need a VCIO, simply to ensure they are maximising their use of technology within their budget.

Most VCIOs service companies with between 25 and 250 employees, but like all things technology related this does not have to be the hard and fast rule. Technology and computing power changes and with it how we work and get work done.

Cost effective managed service providers

As soon as you are investing any sort of money in computing and technology to run systems that are crucial to the daily running of your business, you are likely to need the assistance of a VCIO. Small to medium sized businesses and in particular startups are unlikely to be able to afford an information officer and that’s why VCIOs fill this need.

Assessment and improvement

A competent VCIO will analyse and provide an assessment of the company’s use of technology and computing systems. This enables them to identify where improvements and changes can be made both to optimise the company’s performance as well as providing value for their IT budget.

Industry specific needs

Every company is different and will use IT and related technology differently to meet their specific industry needs. Your VCIO should not only be able to identify those needs and how IT can be implemented to meet them, but also to maximise opportunity to improve the business performance. This includes developing a short, medium and long term strategy to meet your IT needs. When identifying those needs your VCIO will also determine where your IT systems are well integrated and where they may not be working well at all. This is where the managed service will bring value to your business.

Effect of employee and customer outcomes

Not only will your VCIO identify and integrate your systems, but their work has a domino effect on the rest of the business. By determining how your systems enhance employee value, the cost of paid staff is also influenced. When Employees are able to use a system that is fast and reliable and offers a user experience that is fulfilling your overall productivity will increase. In turn this domino effect will become evident in greater client satisfaction.

The future is here and now

It is not possible for the owners or directors of a business to field every possibility. Therefore, responsibility is delegated and for a VCIO this would involve the technology and computing aspect of the business both current and in the future. Part of your managed service plan will involve ensuring the versatility to cope with future changes in technology. Technological change is so rapid, that falling behind in current trends can leave a business behind its competitors in a very short time period. Your VCIO will be able to see how the trends that affect your business are developing, how and when to implement new technology, especially in line with keeping pace with the industry as a whole but also in line with your competitors.

Security considerations

One of the greatest risks to the wellbeing and longevity of your business is security. Your VCIO performs an invaluable service by ensuring that all your data is secure both locally and where you may be using the cloud. Loss of data comes not only from external security breaches such as phishing and other forms of hacking, but also from internal sources. Ensuring that you are not going to lose information and data critical to your business because of employee theft will be part of your VCIOs remit.

Let someone else do the worrying

Your VCIO will be able to establish and manage a budget for your IT and technology needs. Ongoing assessment means that you will be prepared for the upcoming budget every year, particularly if you have a business that is experiencing growth. Having someone who knows how much money is available and where best to spend it, is an asset that will save a lot of stress and worry.