The number of software updates being released every day is staggering, leading some to predict a coming software apocalypse. For major corporations, a top-level Chief Information Officer (CIO) is challenged with managing it all and aligning various technology solutions with the company’s goals.
Smaller organizations, however, often have to rely on someone in the office who’s “good with computers” to be their go-to person when technology issues or questions arises. Unfortunately, that situation can lead to necessary updates and security patches not being performed in a timely manner, costly downtime and increasingly frustrated staff.
A more budget-friendly solution is a Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) — a dedicated technology expert and trusted advisor who performs many of the same functions as a CIO as part of a Managed IT service. Here are just a few ways a vCIO can help your bottom line.
1. Maintain Your Competitive Advantage
Reliance on various applications, networks, devices, email platforms, web-based portals, security updates and other technology needs is a fact of life, no matter the industry, and forward-thinking companies know how to leverage it all to remain on the leading edge of new releases and opportunities.
Managing all the technology in your organization requires a lot of man hours and expertise, and exploring emerging programs and applications that could help your company succeed even further often gets put on the back burner. A vCIO is equipped with necessary training, stays up-to-date on emerging technology solutions, and can make recommendations based on your business needs to help you maintain or gain a competitive edge which can lead to more market share.
2. All the Benefits of a CIO (Without all the Benefits)
The typical salary for a CIO easily surpasses six figures, and that’s not including benefits, bonuses and other perks associated with an executive position. In the not-so-distant past, a CIO was responsible for a team of IT technicians and making sure systems stayed up and running. Today, because of the greater reliance on technology, CIOs play an integral part in strategic planning, and they develop and implement technology solutions in addition to managing the day-to-day IT challenges.
Major enterprises often require a full-time CIO to oversee these functions. Smaller businesses, however, struggle to justify the addition of such a position due to budget constraints, yet they have many of the same requirements, such as needing a strategic plan, security protocols, system oversight, etc. The addition of a vCIO can provide many of the benefits of a full-time CIO while keeping costs in check.
3. An Entire IT Team at Your Disposal
A vCIO doesn’t act alone. There is an entire team of IT experts at your disposal who thrive on mitigating risks, improving system performance, troubleshooting and finding solutions to your IT headaches. This team equips you with the tools you need to access them 24/7 through online chat or by phone for maximum uptime assurance and to address any computer issues or questions.
Security scans are performed continuously to alert technicians of potential cyber threats, and automatic updates and security patches are performed to ensure your systems are updated without interrupting normal workflows or operations. Proactively addressing security threats is possibly one of the greatest measures you can take to ensure your company’s sustainability in the future.
Do you have a major business initiative you’re trying to implement in the next six months that relies heavily on technology? Perhaps it’s a switch to a new software platform or you’re shifting your data to the Cloud from an in-house server. You will definitely need more face time with your vCIO during the transition to help you stay on track and ensure success.
Once your project is up and running smoothly, however, your vCIO’s involvement may shift to more of a maintenance and oversight role, or may focus on other business initiatives and technology challenges. This type of flexibility and as-needed service is possible when you work through a Managed IT provider, and once again can minimize unnecessary labor costs.
The benefits of working with a vCIO go far beyond cost savings. There’s something to be said for the peace of mind you can have knowing a top-level IT expert is partnering with you to navigate the ever-changing technology landscape.
We’ve outlined the top six benefits of a vCIO in our infographic below, so be sure to check it out. Then, reach out to discuss your technology challenges and to see if enlisting the help of a vCIO as part of a Managed IT solution is right for your business.