A vCIO helps businesses tackle complex technology problems, address big picture IT goals, and much more.
The IT landscape evolves quickly. With new products and technologies emerging on a weekly basis, it’s almost impossible for the average small or midsized business (SMB) to feel confident in how they’re managing their technology. That’s why working with a strategic outsourced IT company can enable you to take a proactive approach to your SMB’s technology.
The virtual chief information officer (vCIO) concept was designed to solve this problem. A vCIO team provides the same IT insight, expertise, and strategy that a CIO provides to a large enterprise, allowing them to focus on growth with full confidence that their IT systems are optimally aligned with their business goals. It’s the next level of IT support.
How Businesses Benefit from vCIO Support
The core of any quality vCIO service is regular, sit-down meetings between your executives and the vCIO team. During these meetings, they’ll get up to speed on your newest business goals, review your recent IT performance metrics, then offer targeted advice on how to improve your systems.
Below are five key areas in which vCIO support from an IT company can have a significant positive impact on a business.
1. Worry-Free IT Vendor Management
For many businesses, the total number of IT services has exploded in recent years. There could be dozens, even hundreds of different applications and services deployed in a business network today, including line of business applications, the productivity tools for each department, cybersecurity software, and much more.
Managing these services is a chronic pain point at many businesses. Without proper vendor management, your business is susceptible to several serious issues.
Paying for unused software licenses can cost a business serious money. One estimate from Cleanshelf found the average enterprise is overspending on software by 30% each year. A vCIO will help you streamline your IT purchasing and make sure that software and hardware acquisitions all service your long-term goals.
Without a clear accounting of your IT vendors and accounts, 3rd party software can easily become a liability. A vCIO will help you develop policies and procedures to manage your IT vendors, limiting and tracking their access to your sensitive systems.
By giving you a single point of contact for all your IT vendors, a vCIO team eliminates these issues and other issues related to IT vendor management. This helps you purchase and manage your IT budget with transparency and confidence.
2. Planning an Optimized Technology Roadmap
Each business has unique technology needs, but often these needs go unaddressed due to a lack of expertise. Learning how to utilize the latest technologies is a complex process that involves evaluating your current IT and network pain points and identifying the technologies that best address those problems.
This strategic planning is beyond the realm of most in-house IT teams. Sometimes they’re too overwhelmed with day-to-day IT issues to think about the big picture; other times they lack the expertise to truly align business goals with the latest technologies.
A vCIO services gives SMBs an IT expert to maximize technology ROI and success.
- Define a vision for the future driven by goals, metrics, and KPIs
- Identify new and emerging technologies that could be relevant to your business goals
- Plan and manage IT short-term and long-term budgets to keep costs under control
3. Improve Your Organization’s Resiliency with Disaster Recovery
According to research from Infoscale, the cost of downtime for an average SMB is between $10,000 to $20,000 an hour when accounting for recovery costs, opportunity costs, lost productivity, and reputational damage. What happens if your network goes down for days or weeks? It could threaten the viability of your business.
While many SMBs feel that they’re ready for disaster, most businesses that have a disaster recovery plan don’t update those plans as their organization evolves. Without proper maintenance and testing, even the best set of redundancies and fallbacks can fail when crisis strikes.
A vCIO service ensure you get and stay on a path to reliable disaster recovery.
- Inventory hardware and software assets
- Determine the tolerance for downtime in each department
- Communicate disaster recovery planning best practices to your teams
- Enforce security and compliance requirements for the recovery of sensitive information
4. Cybersecurity and Regulatory Compliance Expertise
There’s good reason for SMBs to fear the risk of cyberattack. According to the Ponemon Institute, the percentage of hacking attempts that target companies with less than 500 people has been rising steadily for over a decade. Currently 76% of this group reports being attacked annually.
Without the budget to hire in-house cybersecurity expertise, SMBs are left to either face the threat of infiltration and downtime on their own, or partner with an outsourced cybersecurity team to help them successfully mitigate these challenges.
A quality vCIO team will start by conducting a thorough analysis of your business and operations, locate your areas of vulnerability, and implement a system of process and controls to help address those risks. After they’ve optimized your security protections, they’ll provide the ongoing vigilance and support your business needs to maintain optimal security.
- Deploy the latest security tools and procedures to identify and mitigate threats quickly
- Educate internal IT teams and other staff members about the latest cybersecurity best practices
- Manage anti-virus software, firewalls, and other security protections
Additionally, some high-quality vCIO services also come equipped with a long list of regulatory compliance success stories, helping business manage the technical requirements of PCI-DSS, HIPAA, HITECH, FINRA, and other common regulations.
5. Streamline and Modernize Your Business Processes
Your staff spends about 22 minutes every day – or 91 hours a year – just trying to get their technology to work properly. While the right technology can help fuel greater productivity in your business, without the right insights and expertise, those tools can do the opposite, wasting your budget and hurting efficiency.
A high-quality vCIO will help you clear away those roadblocks and confidently streamline your business.
- Assess workflows and business processes to determine potential areas of improvement, like repetitive tasks that can be automated.
- Deploy collaboration software to replace error-prone spreadsheets and wasteful email exchanges.
- Better integrate applications and systems, allowing data to flow wherever it best serves your business without compromising security.
Get vCIO Service from a Managed IT Services Provider
Our passion is helping businesses discover confidence and competitive advantage through technology. For decades, we’ve been providing businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina and Albany, New York with high-quality vCIO services and partnership, guiding them out of even the most difficult IT challenges.
Would you like to learn more about our vCIO services and how it can help your business succeed? Our friendly, knowledgeable team is eager to answer your questions. Reach out to us any time at 518 507 5880 or [email protected].