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6 Signs Your Business Needs a vCIO
In today’s business world, where technology and business strategy are inextricably linked, a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is an indispensable member of most large companies’ leadership teams. But with annual salaries averaging over $300,0001, a full-time CIO is impractical for most small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). A popular alternative is a virtual CIO (vCIO), an outsourced resource of expertise, strategic planning, and leadership who works on a part-time or as-needed basis.
Not sure if a vCIO is right for your business? Here are 6 clear signs that your business needs a vCIO:
1. Your business does not have a coherent IT strategy.
Businesses that compete most effectively recognize that IT is much more than just a tool for completing day-to-day tasks. Technology is now a key strategic tool—one that allows you to achieve business goals that are central to your competitive advantage. A vCIO has the expertise, in both business strategy and technology, to help you create an IT strategy that makes more effective use of available technologies to achieve business goals ranging from changing your business model to increasing efficiency to expanding your footprint.
2. You’d like to adopt a cloud-first strategy but lack the expertise.
Compared with enterprise-level businesses, SMBs have been slower to adopt a cloud-first strategy. A vCIO can provide smaller businesses with the expertise needed to evaluate their cloud readiness and then plan an organized migration to the cloud. Consulting with a vCIO helps SMBs to determine which applications are suitable for a “lift and shift” migration, which may need refactoring or rewriting before migration, and which may be best-left on-premises. An informed assessment and migration roadmap make the process easier, faster, and less prone to time-consuming errors.
3. You think you might be paying too much for technology across multiple vendors.
SMBs are of necessity cost-conscious, and pruning unnecessary IT spend is a popular use of vCIO expertise among smaller businesses. One study revealed that on average, about a third of a company’s software spend is ultimately wasted2. A vCIO can assess a business’ IT spend, often uncovering tens of thousands of dollars of overspend in areas like unused software licenses and redundant software functionality. A vCIO can also assist by identifying opportunities to consolidate software solutions with fewer vendors to obtain better rates.
4. You need stronger cybersecurity but aren’t sure where to start.
You need stronger cybersecurity but aren’t sure where to start. Only 26% of SMBs feel “very confident” in their ability to respond to a cyberattack3. And for good reason—cybersecurity today has grown quite complex. A vCIO can complete an assessment of your cybersecurity program and explain how to fill any holes that are discovered with appropriate policies, procedures, or technologies.
5. You need to establish an appropriate IT budget for the coming year.
Because IT now fills a strategic role in most businesses, having a carefully developed IT budget is a must. Budgeting for IT is about more than just dollars; it’s about identifying tech spending priorities that support your business’ strategic goals and security. A vCIO can assist with benchmarking as well as with understanding how various IT spend categories serve your long-term interests (e.g., investing in disaster recovery solutions to prevent business-crushing data loss).
6. You lack IT policies or feel that existing policies need improvement.
Your IT policies establish a consistent set of expectations for employees. Policies related to areas like device use, removing users, and password practices help to secure your infrastructure while also documenting compliance with applicable standards and helping your business to qualify for reduced cyber insurance premiums. A vCIO can assist with formulating IT policies that prescribe professional, secure use of IT by employees, and that adhere to any regulations your business must follow.
NexusTek’s vCIOs provide a range of IT assessments and consulting services, including IT budgets and policy, IT spend assessment, cybersecurity and cyber resilience assessment, strategic IT planning, cloud readiness assessment, and much more.
Could your business benefit from a vCIO’s executive-level technology consulting and leadership?
- Glassdoor. (2023, May 8). How much does a Chief Information Officer make? https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/chief-information-officer-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm
- Flexera. (2022). State of ITAM report. https://info.flexera.com/ITAM-REPORT-State-of-IT-AssetManagement
- SMB Group. (2023, January 14). SMB business and technology challenges and priorities for 2023. https://www.smb-gr.com/reports/smb-business-and-technology-challenges-and-priorities-for2023/