A vCIO, or virtual CIO, is a contractor, or company, that serves as an organization's chief information officer.
The vCIO collaborates with and advises clients' IT departments and performs the same functions as a conventional CIO. Those duties include formulating strategic IT goals, planning the IT budget, analyzing, and reworking business processes and facilitating technology changes. The vCIO can help customers maintain their IT infrastructure -- keeping the lights on -- but can also provide more-forward looking services. For example, a vCIO can work with customers to plan a technology roadmap, identify opportunities to use new technology tools. If a client lacks an internal IT department or has a very limited IT staff, the client may grant wider decision-making authority and technology deployment responsibilities to the vCIO. The main difference between the vCIO function and other technical advisory services is that the vCIO takes a broader view of the client, focusing on business and IT alignment.
TOP 5 WAYS VCIO SERVICES CAN BENEFIT YOUR ORGANIZATION
1. Predicting your technology budget (short & long term). - VCIO services help enterprises budget more efficiently. The VCIO is there to create a plan or Technology Roadmap that syncs up with your company's goals, needs and expectations.
2. Decreasing operating costs while improving productivity. - VCIOs also have the ability to cut operating costs without negatively affecting operations. Employing a VCIO gives you the ability to invest more on keeping your business running and on up-to-date technology and less on staffing. To hire an on-staff CIO you need a six figure budget just to cover salary, then add benefits, bonuses, etc. Having a VCIO lets you focus on running your business, while you VCIO focuses on making sure the correct technologies are in place.
Example: Having a VCIO on-board 3 days a week saves your company 40% salary plus benefit related costs (Health Insurance, 401k, vacation, etc.) The VCIO resource contract can also be renegotiated to meet your business needs.
3. Analyzes and reports findings and recommendations. - Are you implementing the right technology? VCIOs are constantly learning and advising what works best with your business goals. This approach enhances your enterprise's efficiency without making unnecessary investments.
4. Makes sure that security, business continuity, disaster recovery and compliance have been addressed properly. - Takes a proactive approach in advising and training other on how sensitive files / data are to be handled and secured. Set guidelines and defines / creates security standards and system patch update procedures. Ensures that passwords are changed at regular intervals and that support staff are using their regular logins and not the firefighter logins. Advises senior management of potential security / access issues.
5. Finds ways to make technology contribute to the bottom line. - The VCIO will understand the business's goals and contribute to meet those goals through the business process optimization and strategic direction so that you are positioned for the future.