Having brought you the basics of Cloud Computing, the IT Roadmap, and IT Consultancy Services, the latest article in our 101 series looks at the virtual CIO.

What is a Virtual CIO?

A virtual CIO is a contracted resource or external, outsourced company that performs the typical duties of a Chief Information Officer.

The role is essentially the same, with CIOs collaborating and advising clients on how IT can:

  • Inform their business operations
  • Improve the customer experience
  • Make them more efficient and
  • Help them reach their goals and ambitions

The biggest difference is in the in-house versus outsourcing debate. They are hired from outside the company, making them a good solution for businesses that want expertise without increasing headcount and assuming the costs that come with recruiting, training and rewarding full-time employees.

What does a Virtual CIO do?

A virtual CIO service has the benefit of looking at a business from a neutral perspective and, as well as taking care of any day-to-day issues that may arise, can look beyond business-as-usual factors to find opportunities and efficiencies that support longer-term growth.

They manage everything from IT infrastructure management, firewall and virus protection to WAN/LAN health monitoring, disaster recovery and scheduled on-site support. The list goes on, but their main objective is to keep systems and data safe, secure and accessible.

Virtual CIOs are future thinking

Virtual CIOs are proactive and that future thinking is one of the major benefits of taking on this service because it can inject new energy into sleeping businesses and drive thriving businesses forward at an even faster rate, helping them stay ahead of the tech curve and competition.  

A good Virtual CIO will help a business move IT spend from an expense to an investment. They’re paid to think full-circle too, so you can rely on them to monitor, measure and maintain IT security and explore innovation opportunities on your behalf.

Virtual CIOs drive innovation

Virtual CIOs bring a wealth of knowledge on new business technology, industry trends and the competitive landscape. They understand the role of innovation and know it can prove expensive if managed inefficiently, so it’s important to have a resource that:

  1.    Understands your business and the plans for growth
  2.    Has experience of working across multiple industries
  3.    Can draw on the learnings of previous successes (and failures), and
  4.    Knows how to bring all that good stuff together, to make well-considered recommendations

They see IT as a tool to improve a business and can help clients of all sizes make their operation leaner and more efficient with:

  • Strong leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Wiser spend
  • Customised processes
  • Managing change
  • Expert vendor management
  • Technology roadmaps and
  • Software license management

Anything that allows a business to operate smarter, essentially. And, because they provide remote and on-site support, they can make themselves available for consultations or troubleshoot issues that come up anywhere, any time.

Find out how a virtual CIO can help your business to grow by contacting us at pebble.it. You can also learn how IT can help your business or agency to grow and why it is is an investment, not an expense, by downloading our eBook below:


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