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What is a VCIO and Is It Right For Your Business?

by Blog

Valerie had a problem. She runs an accounting firm, but they still do many things the old fashioned way. She knows she needs to update her hardware and software to stay compliant and ahead of the curve for her business and her customers. After all, her competitors are. Valerie isn’t a “techie” as she calls them, and she also can’t afford to hire a full time CIO to keep her informed and keep her company up to date. A friend of hers told her to look into a VCIO, or Virtual Chief Information Officer. That way she had access to an expert for a fraction of a cost. Is a VCIO right for Valerie, is a VCIO right for you?

WHAT IS A CIO

CIO stands for Chief Information Officer. This executive is responsible for managing, implementing and executing decisions related to IT and computers for the company. Technology is everchanging, with new updates and products hitting the market seemingly daily. It is the job of the CIO to stay up to date on both emerging technology as well as how the technology that is currently being used by the company is functioning, both strategically and practically. However, having a full time CIO is a costly endeavor.

The average CIO salary currently stands at $129,000 annually. For companies that are in the tech field, having a full time CIO is a necessity. For other enterprises, such as Valerie’s, the need for tech expertise on an as needed basis is there, but having a full time CIO on staff is simply unfeasible. They will not be utilized on a full time basis after all, but will have to be paid on one. This is where the VCIO comes in.

WHAT IS A VCIO

A VCIO is a virtual CIO. It gives companies access to expert advice and opinion on an on-call basis. It is usually a service offered by an MSP such as Delval Technology Solutions. Having a VCIO is a great way to fill in the gaps in expertise of both yourself and your staff. It’s also a fantastic way to grow your business while saving money. What can a VCIO provide your business?

EXPERISE

If you are like Valerie, your business is your expertise. Many business owners have specific ways of doing things, however some of these methods may be outdated and while providing personal comfort can leave a company falling behind. We exist in an era of everchanging and ever updating technology. If one were to try to keep track of everything new on the market, it would eat into those valuable hours spent servicing customers and building your business. Having a VCIO in your proverbial back pocket allows you to have

an expert to call on to answer questions, help you strategize, and aid in implementation of your hardware and software upgrades. It is key to remember that since this person does not hold an executive position within your organization, they are providing suggestions and insight, which is up to you and your team to implement.

INCREASED SECURITY

Cyber-security is becoming an increasingly hot button issue. Hackers and other cyber-criminals are working full time to breach businesses and steal data. They are crashing servers with DDOS attacks, installing various forms of spyware to pick up vital information, and even installing ransomware, locking up sensitive files until a ransom is paid. Once these breaches occur, your data can hit the dark web where it is for sale to anyone with access. These attacks and breaches can ruin an enterprise. Having a VCIO gives you access to someone who can help you build not only a nearly impenetrable network, but also aid in both monitoring of your network and help your business bounce back in case a breach does occur. A VCIO stays up to date on all the newest threats and the newest ways to combat them, helping you keep your business and your customers safe from the dangers of cyberspace.

STRATEGY/OPTIMIZATION

Choosing your technological plan for your business isn’t something to do with haste. It takes proper insight and foresight, so your choices work for your business, not hinder your company. Having a VCIO on your team gives you access to someone who can think five steps ahead.  They know what you don’t know to look for, the hurdles and headaches you may encounter, and how to navigate through these issues to ensure that your plan is properly executed from the start. Not only that, but they will also evaluate your existing systems so that you can use what is already in house to the best of your and your technologies abilities.

CONTROL

At times, adding an executive to your team can bring with it some headaches. While you may control the budget, you do not however, control the decision. A VCIO puts you in the driver seat with an expert co-pilot. Your budget is under your control, from start to finish. You know what your expense for the VCIO each month will be, without having to worry about paying out bonuses (unless of course you want to), hiring more employees for your team to aid you CIO, paying benefits, and other costs incurred from hiring new employees.

When it comes time to make the final decision, they will guide you, but at the end of the day, you are in control of the situation. To top it all off, most companies such as Delval Technology Solutions have multiple VCIO’s, so if you don’t feel your particular VCIO is right for your business, you can easily change who you are working with seamlessly.

Valerie called her MSP and signed up for their VCIO program. She was comfortable knowing that she now had access to an expert who could help. They made a strategic plan, working with her to upgrade her technology to fit the growing needs of her business. They showed her how to utilize her existing systems more effectively and she was able to eliminate hardware and software that was now obsolete.

Valerie felt relieved knowing that she had someone watching her back on the security end to keep her system protected and have a plan in case the worst did occur. Her staff now had access to better technology and had someone to call on if they had questions, and productivity soared. When it came time for Valerie to choose what to add to her business, she did so with confidence as her VCIO had set her up for success. She had all that, without having to break the bank on a new executive.

Valerie didn’t just gain a VCIO, she gained peace of mind.