According to PayScale, the average salary for a chief information officer (CIO) weighs in at $159,000, and that’s before commissions, bonuses, and any profit-sharing. That’s far beyond what most smaller organizations can afford. Yet at the same time, every business, regardless of its size and industry, handles increasingly large repositories of business and customer data, all of which need protecting. On top of that is the constant need to innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of today’s market.
A virtual CIO, or vCIO, may be exactly what your small business needs. A vCIO is a consultant, business, or third party that offers a service fulfilling a similar role to that of a full-time, in-house CIO. A vCIO will typically work remotely, although partnering with a local business also means you can hold in-person meetings and have a consultant visit your business premises to carry out important assessments. Hiring a vCIO can be a major competitive advantage, supporting business growth in a variety of ways.
#1. Access expertise on demand
Even if they could afford to hire a full-time CIO, small businesses rarely have such a need. A vCIO provides their services on demand, typically for a fixed monthly fee. The precise extent of the services they offer, along with their response times, will be laid out on the service level agreement (SLA) they provide. A dependable vCIO will also bring enterprise-grade technology and strategic guidance to your business, which is rare given the current talent drought in the sector.
#2. Build a long-term technology strategy
A vCIO is far more than just a vendor. They’re not there to constantly sell you more services or products. Rather, they exist to fulfill a similar role to an in-house technology executive. They will help you build a long-term business technology strategy that aligns with your unique goals and needs.
Just like a full-time executive-level employee, they have a vested interest in the success of your business, so they have every reason to help ensure your digital transformation is a successful one.
#3. Boost employee productivity
In many small businesses, employee productivity ends up being severely stunted by otherwise trivial technology problems that your staff aren’t best equipped to deal with. Instead, they end up wasting time trying to find inadequate workarounds to problems or staring at loading pages for applications that refuse to function as they should. Working with a vCIO will boost staff productivity by putting user experience first and letting staff focus on their core competencies instead of peripheral matters.
#4. Reduce operational risk
The proliferation of digital data, not to mention the reliance today’s organizations have on their technology, places an enormous burden on risk-management. Even a seemingly minor issue can lead to a data breach or leak, which has lasting consequences for your brand. Similarly, a system failure or poorly executed technology implementation can leave your business unable to continue functioning as normal. Working with a vCIO can help you proactively reduce risk by making the right technology investments and sharing the responsibility with a third party.
#5. Plan for future success
Technology is the Achilles’ heel of modern business. It’s all good when working as intended, but business can quickly grind to a halt when it’s systems either break down or can’t keep up with periods of increased demand. That’s why you need to ensure your infrastructure has plenty of space to grow and adapt to the constant pace of change in today’s market, as well as the rapid evolution of technology. Working with a vCIO is a proactive and strategy-driven approach comprising regular reviews to help you discover new opportunities to improve.
If you’re looking for a reliable and professional vCIO, Founders Technology Group, LLC is the answer. We help SMBs make smart IT investments and ensure their business is geared for success. Call us today to schedule a consultation.