A virtual chief information officer (vCIO) is a senior IT leader who works with your team part-time.

The primary benefit is that the business gets dedicated staff to help guide their technology strategy and provide expertise in areas that their team might not be familiar with. High-level technology insight at an affordable price to small and midsized businesses is the main reason companies embrace the vCIO model, but it’s not the only reason.

A skilled vCIO also helps your internal IT team do their jobs more effectively and feel better about their work. Here are just a few ways vCIO support helps your IT staff achieve more.

vCIOs Help Champion Existing IT Projects

Most small and midsized businesses have an IT project or goal they’d like to complete, but they just can’t find the time for it. There are many reasons why those initiatives get pushed back further and further on the to-do list.

Sometimes its employee turnover in the IT department. When staff leaves, they take important skills that a company needs to get a project done correctly, meaning you’ve got to wait months or longer to rehire and wait for that project to rise back up their list of priorities.

In other cases, businesses simply don’t have the IT leadership it takes to communicate the importance of a project and ferry it through the different phases of the project management lifecycle. Having a trusted vCIO in your corner is one of the best ways to ensure important technology initiatives get done on time.

Here’s how any IT project, big or small, benefits from the assistance of a professional vCIO.

Planning and Scoping
Is your IT team confident that their next project will meet your business’s goals and provide a positive return on investment? A vCIO will analyze your goals and project scope, ensuring that you’re using the best strategy and technology to solve the problem at hand.

This includes communicating the importance of the initiative to stakeholders across your organization so that priority projects move swiftly through the planning phases, with everybody in your company working toward a clear and unified vision.

Budgeting
The costs associated with new IT projects can spiral out of control if there’s not someone keeping a close watch.

Small internal IT teams burdened by regular IT maintenance tasks often miscalculate the engineering hours required to complete a new project, fail to identify technical issues or don’t employ optimal cost optimization strategies. All those can cause friction and harm a project’s outcome.

A vCIO helps your IT team streamline budgeting by eliminating ambiguity, leveraging their vendor relationships to get your business the best price on new hardware or network equipment, and using their experience with IT project management to help ensure that you’re properly budgeting for engineering hours.

Project Execution
A vCIO provides on-demand guidance and advice to your staff throughout project execution, providing prompt answers to questions they may encounter. Having an experienced professional in your corner reduces stress and ensures that your team completes your project with as few problems as possible.

The vCIO Frees Your IT Team from Drudgery

Most small and midsized businesses have a small IT team that juggles the company’s entire network management workload. At a minimum, that means fielding day-to-day IT support questions, managing cybersecurity threats, maintaining network infrastructure, and handling backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions.

That’s too much for a small team to handle well. IT is like any other technical discipline, where each person has unique skills and specializations. Forcing a small group to take too much is one of the major reasons why turnover in the IT industry is higher than in any other profession.

Working with a trusted vCIO partner is an excellent way to help your IT team focus on what they do best. Strategically outsourcing tasks they’re either not good at — or too busy to do well — frees them to work on the tasks that best suit them.

This has the direct benefit of improving your weakest IT management processes and the additional upside of improving morale among your staff. Here are some strategically important tasks that a vCIO can help your team with.

  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
    Resilience to catastrophic network downtime is a critical component of any effective IT support issue, but 23% percent of small businesses are not regularly testing their BDR systems. It’s simply one more difficult, time-consuming task that gets deprioritized on the long list of day-to-day network management challenges. A vCIO team helps you plan, deploy, test, and maintain those systems on a fixed schedule to prepare your business for whatever comes its way.
  • Information Security
    A small IT team is invariably going to worry about their cybersecurity defenses. Enterprise security teams have scores of specialized personnel to manage each aspect of security, such as perimeter defense, password management, security event analysis, and more. That’s why small and midsized businesses are now the preferred target for cybercriminals. A vCIO team helps you address your cybersecurity gaps, so your staff can focus on areas they’re most confident about.
  • Vendor Management
    The average enterprise is overspending on software products by over 30% each year. That same problem exists on a smaller scale in small and midsized businesses that lack proper vendor management processes. Poor vendor management is a serious problem beyond just wasted budget. It can also lead to security and compliance blind spots and workflow inefficiency. As the number of devices connected to a network grows, so does the challenge of effectively managing those devices and their software. A vCIO can help strengthen your existing vendor management processes or take them over completely, helping you achieve total visibility over the lifecycle of your network hardware and software.

The Complete Network vCIOs Are Here to Help

The vCIO team at Complete Network’s provides businesses in Albany, Charlotte, Bluffton, and Savannah with the trustworthy insight and expertise they need to close their IT management gaps. If your IT team wants to strategically outsource tasks to a reliable partner or launch a new IT project with confidence, we’re here to help. Contact us any time at 877 877 1840 or [email protected].