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Business + IT Insights

What Makes a Great Virtual CIO

Posted by Dave Lazor on Thu, Jul 09, 2020


Virtual CIO

Your business uses technology for everything. From email to point of sale to accounting to communication - technology is involved. The problem is, technology, or IT, isn’t what you do. It’s what you use, but not what you like to manage.

Running a business is hard enough let alone managing all the technological pieces. In today’s world, IT is integral to the success of a business, but too often, business owners wear the hat of a Chief Information Officer among all the other hats they wear and it causes the business to suffer.

What you need is a Virtual CIO (vCIO).

An experienced vCIO bridges the gap between business goals and the technology necessary to help you reach those goals. They do all the same work as a traditional CIO but at a fraction of the cost and they’re often a better fit for small-to-medium-sized businesses.

TRAITS OF A GREAT vCIO

When searching for a vCIO you need to consider their strengths in the following areas:

Experience

  • Experience is THE biggest differentiator. They need to understand more than the bits and bytes of IT. They should have experience with business planning, managing people, and overseeing various aspects of a business
  • With industry experience comes the ability to understand the strategic capabilities of IT. An experienced vCIO can create a plan of action that leads to maximum and sustainable value for an organization.
  • What’s their background? Are they more of a generalist with wide-ranging knowledge? Or are they narrow, meaning they only have specific experience in one area (i.e., networking)? A great, experienced vCIO has experience in multiple areas of IT.

Business Planning

  • A great vCIO needs to help you plan and budget for your future technology needs to ensure that the business grows with the customer.
  • They should creatively think about ways technology can help achieve and support the business plan while staying flexible enough to change direction as your business experiences new and unique challenges.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE:

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General Electric used strategic IT planning to transform the airline industry and their bottom line.

Learn how they did it.  


Technology Expertise

  • IT can be expensive, and you don’t want to find yourself attached to outdated technology or anything that doesn’t help solve your long-term business goals.
  • A great vCIO is forward-thinking and on the cutting edge when it comes to understanding what technologies are coming and how they can provide your business with a competitive edge.

Security & Disaster Planning & Management

  • Cybersecurity is crucial for your business. A great vCIO will help create and drive a culture of security awareness and actively manage any security situations that arise.

To set your business, and a vCIO, up for success, you need to consider the following:

  • Define your business goals and growth trajectory for the next 2-3 years to determine your capacity for hiring a vCIO.
  • An IT Manager can help put a band-aid on basic IT issues, but you’ll want a vCIO if you’re planning for growth.
  • A great vCIO can help with business planning, technology expertise, security, and business continuity planning - so place a great deal of value in a candidate’s experience when selecting a vCIO.

A vCIO is not just a great technology investment for businesses that are ready for it, but a great leadership investment that can help propel your company to the next level.

At Lazorpoint, we have several options available when it comes to vCIO support. Our team of highly experienced, forward-thinking IT professionals can transform your business. Contact us today to talk to a Lazorpoint expert about how a vCIO can provide you with the expertise needed for your business to reach new heights.

Tags: it management, IT Strategy, IT Team

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