Despite the title, a vCIO, or Virtual Chief Information Officer, is not virtual at all.
For many Managed Service Providers (MSPs), like Think Network Technologies, a vCIO is somewhat of a figurehead. A vCIO serves as an outsourced Chief Information Officer for organizations that don’t have a full-time CIO on staff. The vCIO is an off-site business position.
But What Does a vCIO Do?
This service offers key insight into the development of business strategies as they pertain to technology. That means they spend a lot of time in the field, digging around customers’ wiring crouching under desks and testing their clients’ technology infrastructures.
A vCIO should perform the same functions as a conventional CIO – collaborating with and advising clients’ IT departments. This includes formulating strategic IT goals, planning the IT budget, analyzing and reworking business processes and facilitating technology changes.
Working inside a company’s infrastructure begins with a network assessment of an organization’s current technology and limitations, ultimately building a roadmap to a more productive future. Software analysis tools and old-fashioned legwork are utilized to perform the network assessment.
Some tools a vCIO uses are optional, but having the expertise and knowledge to address your technology needs is not.
Does My Company Need a vCIO?
What role does technology play in your business? – Do you know what applications your employees and/or customers depend on? Do you know what your security requirements are? Do you know what data access needs you have?
What are your company’s growth plans? – Does your company have a growth plan to help anticipate your future technology needs?
What are your business objectives? – Do you know your company’s long and short-term business goals, including what technology you will need to reach those goals?
If you don’t know or are unclear about any of the answers to the questions above, you probably need a vCIO. Generally speaking, any organization thinking about the big picture of the company needs a vCIO.
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Credit: Gordon Flesch Company, Inc.