According to Glassdoor, the average base salary of a chief information officer (CIO) is $170,000, far beyond what many small businesses can afford. A vCIO, or virtual CIO, is a consultant or a business that offers a similar range of services to a full-time in-house CIO on demand. This service is typically aimed towards small businesses that can’t afford or don’t need a full-time CIO. A vCIO usually works remotely, with scheduled in-person meetings to develop and review your technology strategy. Partnering with a vCIO offers a host of benefits to your business, and here’s what you can expect.
#1. More predictable budgeting
On average, businesses spend 3.28% of their revenues on IT. Spending a lot more doesn’t necessarily guarantee better results, however, particularly when there are so many unknowns involved. If you’re dependent on in-house expertise that isn’t quite up to the task of choosing, deploying, and maintaining the right IT solutions for your business, you could end up spending much more than you need. A vCIO looks at your budget and recommends right-fit solutions that don’t break the bank. What’s more, vCIOs offer their services on demand or for a fixed monthly fee, making budgeting far easier.
#2. Better alignment between business and IT
A CIO’s primary role is to ensure companies align their technology with business goals. They aren’t just IT executives, they’re people who understand the needs of the business and implement technologies that add long-term value. A failure to align business and technology leads to poor returns on investment and a general lack of efficiency. A vCIO has a vested interest in selecting, implementing, and maintaining your IT infrastructure with a strategic approach that adapts to constantly changing business needs. They exist to ensure business and IT don’t end up following separate paths.
#3. Access to essential expertise
As businesses across every industry sector become more reliant on their technology, the skills gap in IT is only widening. There are now 1.5 million unfilled positions in information security alone. This is one of the reasons why managed services providers (MSPs) and IT consulting firms have become so ubiquitous in recent years. By providing industry-leading expertise when you need it, smaller businesses, as well as those with understaffed IT departments, can boost performance and add value. A dependable vCIO is an expert with a thorough understanding of the latest technology trends, and they’re able to discern which solutions offer real value and which ones are passing fads.
#4. Improved productivity
Many in-house IT departments are overloaded with work to the point that employee burnout leads to serious drops in productivity and morale. Things aren’t getting any easier either, since technology infrastructure is more complex than ever. Partnering with a vCIO doesn’t have to be about scrapping your internal IT department, but more about augmenting the capabilities of your existing staff. They’re on the outside looking in as well, which brings a fresh perspective to your business. By assisting with project management, budgeting, and research, they’re well positioned to free up time for your existing employees so they can focus on more important tasks.
#5. Reduce business risk
Putting your entire technology infrastructure in the hands of an internal IT department doesn’t just place a huge responsibility on their shoulders, it’s also a single point of failure. A reliable vCIO will always be available to step in when a serious issue arises. They’ll ensure you have a robust backup and disaster recovery strategy as part of your wider IT roadmap. They’ll reduce risk not only with expertise and technology solutions, but also by taking a share of the responsibility. If you choose a vCIO who specializes in your industry, they can help you adhere to stringent regulations to further reduce business risk.
ITS offers the technology solutions and expertise businesses need to drive growth and free up time and money. Call us today to schedule your complimentary network assessment. Our team of vCIOs is ready to listen to your biggest concerns and develop a strategy made just for your business.