Virtual is a common prefix these days; virtual reality, virtual tours and virtual insanity (for the Jamiroquai fans out there) to name just a few. In the world of business, though, there’s one area in particular benefitting from this ‘virtual’ title and that’s the idea of the virtual CIO. Within any business’ boardroom, there are several key figures: the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and nowadays the CIO (Chief Information Officer) as well as a whole host of other business leaders. In an increasingly digital age, virtual CIOs make more and more business sense and the team here at Nutbourne, who offer their own comprehensive virtual CIO services, wanted to explain why.
What Does A Regular CIO Do?
First, though, it’s worth exploring the roles and duties of a CIO more generally. Broadly speaking, the CIO’s role is to oversee the IT side of a company. This might include procuring IT systems and equipment, as well as contributing to overall strategy regarding company movement and direction, particularly on a digital front – this includes increasingly offering customer-oriented digital products and services.
What’s The Issue With Traditional CIOs?
A big issue for many smaller businesses and SMEs is that they simply don’t have a CIO. They’re not big enough in scope to justify hiring full-time an employee to oversee the digital branch of their operations! Instead, the various roles that a conventional CIO would carry out are instead divvied out between other management roles; not only is this a poor allocation of time, it’s also potentially damaging as these individuals are carrying out roles not necessarily within their professional skill-set. What, then, are the other main benefits in hiring a virtual CIO?
What Does A Virtual CIO Offer Your Business?
Smart Business Sense
Touching on the previous point, let’s start with one of the main benefits in that a virtual CIO makes smart business sense. By outsourcing the digital side of your operations, particularly in terms of management and procurement, you streamline your operations and run more optimally as a company. You’re also bringing in a professional for whom these jobs are precisely within their wheelhouse. You’re bringing in someone matched to the roles required and that can only be a good thing for your company.
Get An Outsider’s Perspective
An issue many businesses face is that they’re too involved within it to see the bigger picture. To use an analogy, if all your leadership roles are being filled by full-time employees within the business, you run the risk of standing so close to the canvas that you can’t process the broader scene. By hiring a virtual CIO, you get an entirely fresh perspective on things and you introduce the possibility, therefore, of fresh ideas. In terms of business innovation, without a virtual CIO you risk plateauing. With one, however, and the ceiling of possibility is raised further.
Costs Are Reduced
Hiring a virtual CIO is typically cheaper than having a full-time management position on your company’s roster. Though not a universal fact, the chances are that in outsourcing your company’s IT needs, you’ll not only be getting more experience but getting so for less money as well.
Keep Up To Date With Latest IT Trends
Hiring a virtual CIO – who has spent their entire career in and around the world of IT – means you’ll be hiring someone up to speed and at the forefront of current trends and what’s worth pursuing and what’s less so. In other words, you position yourself as a business as trend-setters and not trend-followers.
Virtual CIO Roles & Responsibilities
A virtual CIO’s specific roles will vary according to a company’s individual needs, however the main responsibilities can be thought of as:
- Developing IT procurement strategies.
- Managing a company’s IT budget and looking for ways to optimise.
- Implementing an optimal cybersecurity strategy.
- Defining future IT plans and strategies for the next: year, three years, five years and even ten years. It’s important to note that the rapidly developing nature of technology makes planning beyond five years much more difficult.
- Reviewing, assessing and developing ways in which a business can implement disruptive digital technologies to further its growth.
As a managed service provider in London, we have experience in the following areas:
- Cloud services
- Monitoring and support
- 24/7 remote support
- Comprehensive managed service provision
Whether you’re looking for a full virtual CIO service or something else entirely, our managed service provider in London can help. If you’d like to find out more about our virtual CIO services, then get in touch! Contact Nutbourne today on +44 (0) 203 137 7273. Alternatively, you can fill out one of our online enquiry forms on our website.