What is a Virtual CIO and Why Do You Need One?

What is a Virtual CIO

As a growing business, you may not have the use of a full-time board of directors. And even if you do, there are probably some positions you either don’t have the budget for a full-time, salary employee, or you just don’t need to have them on staff. At least not yet. One such individual is the Chief Information Officer.

This is a position many small to medium-sized businesses leave open. With a smaller size business, your reliance on technology and its digital infrastructure is minimal. However, that doesn’t mean you should fully leave your IT open, or simply rely on what you know. Doing this will leave you exposed, and in the modern, digital world of business, leaving yourself exposed to risks hacks, extended network downtime, and the loss of customers due to information leaks and websites being down. In order to avoid all of these issues and to make sure your website and your business are protected, you need to consider a virtual CIO.

What is a Virtual CIO?

A virtual CIO, or VCIO for short, is a CIO who is not strictly only yours. This is an IT service provider that will service other businesses. These are individuals (or service providers) that will work with you in formulating the right IT system and goals for your business. They’ll help you understand what is needed both in terms of security and in terms of software and hardware, in order to help your business thrive and grow. They will also help monitor your network and provide any necessary assistance. This way, should you run into any kind of problems with your IT, you’ll still have real-time access to a team of IT professionals.

Basically, a VCIO fills the void of a CIO when you don’t explicitly need such an individual at all times of the day. As a newer business, or as a business that doesn’t need a Chief Information Officer at all times of the day, a VCIO functions very much like a CIO on-demand. One simple phone call or one email and the service provider will respond. They can also, depending on the situation, assist remotely.

A Virtual CIO Saves You Money Along The Way

You might initially look at the idea of a VCIO as just another way to spend money. That, however, is not accurate. In fact, the virtual CIO will, in the end, save you time, resources, and, yes, money.

If you were to go out and invest in a full-time CIO, you’d likely have an individual (and the head of your entire IT department) that doesn’t have a ton of work to do throughout the week. Outside of making sure your network is up to date, and all computers have the latest software upgrades, your CIO will not have enough of a job to fill their day. You probably don’t want to pay a full-time employee when there isn’t enough work for them.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, what happens if things go wonky with your network? Maybe your website is suddenly not responding to orders, and you have a pileup of angry phone calls and emails coming in? You don’t want to be guessing at how to fix this. Or, maybe you have a potential security breach, and you’re attempting to correct the problem, but it’s taking longer than usual. This not only will cost you customers, but it may end in a lawsuit. These are major expenses your business may not be able to absorb.

With a virtual CIO, you’ll receive the best of both worlds. You won’t be spending money on a full-time employee that you don’t need full-time, and yet you’ll still have a service provider whenever you need it. Plus, with their expertise, you’ll be able to identify the best kind of equipment and software your business needs. Unless you’re a major tech guy or gal, selecting the right software can sometimes feel like a crapshoot. And with the kind of finances wrapped into these kinds of decisions, do you really want to be crossing your fingers and hoping for the best? Of course not. You need a helpful, insightful, and educated voice on the topic. Someone who knows the industry inside and out and can direct you in the best direction possible for your business. You need a VCIO.

Additional Benefits of a VCIO

Beyond everything mentioned so far, there are additional benefits to be had by bringing on a VCIO.

As industry professionals, the VCIO service provider can help support relationships with certain vendors. Whether this is a Point Of Sales system, an application that processes delivery requests for a restaurant, or even an Internet-based security firm that can help monitor your storefront, there are all kinds of vendors out there you might be interested in. Because the VCIO has significant experience working with these different kinds of vendors, they can help not only get your foot in the door of the vendors, but help establish a working relationship.

The virtual CIO can help with offering insights on how to improve your Internet sales based on shopping trends and then can provide methods designed to help drive change based on the needs of your business. Essentially, you’ll get a true CIO at a fraction of the price.

Invest In Your IT Infrastructure With A CIO

It is more important now than ever before to invest in an IT service provider and VCIO. With business taking on a new identity due to what is going on around the world, it is essential to have an IT provider you can rely on. This service provider can sit down and work with your business, identifying the best technology to work not only inside your facility but for any and all remote working environments as well. Charlotte IT Solutions can handle all of this and so much more. So, if you’re ready to begin taking your IT infrastructure not only seriously, but to the next level, now is the time to reach out and contact Charlotte IT Solutions at your earliest convenience.