Written by: Daniel Haurey on 08/01/23

In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, staying ahead of the curve in terms of technology is essential for success. In order to stay competitive, businesses like yours need to ensure they are making effective IT decisions in order to avoid misalignment and waste.

A report from Flexera showed that 36% of desktop software is either underutilized or wasted. Datacenter software and SaaS were also subject to these issues, checking in with 33% and 32%, respectively.

“Many companies lack the expertise within their leadership team to navigate this ever-changing landscape effectively,” notes Daniel Haurey, CEO for Exigent Technologies. 

“This is where a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) can play a vital role, especially for small to mid-sized organizations.”

We know what you’re thinking: “What is a vCIO and what does one do?” In this article, we’ll answer this question and discuss how working with a vCIO can benefit your business.

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What Does a Virtual CIO Do for My Business?

A vCIO is a professional who brings the operational and technological expertise of a traditional CIO but with enhanced flexibility and significant cost savings. 

Much like outsourcing other IT services, working with a virtual CIO provides access to experienced executive-level professionals who possess a broad view of the business technology landscape, all at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time CIO. 

Think of a vCIO partnership as being similar to having a personal trainer at the gym – it is an extremely strategic coaching relationship. When you engage with a virtual CIO, you gain more than just technology guidance; they become a leader and a mentor across your entire organization. 

vCIOs add a fresh, sophisticated point of view to the leadership team while also serving as role models who can help guide the professional development of any in-house technology staff you may have. 

They can even help with job descriptions and provide hiring guidance when and if it’s time to invest in IT talent within your business.

Understanding the vCIO Process

The demand for IT consulting and vCIO services has had a significant impact on the market. Data from Absolute Reports shows that the global IT consulting market was valued at $906.47 million in 2022. It is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.49% and reach $1,179.67 million by 2028.

Additionally, companies spent an average of $166.8 billion on IT consulting services in 2022, which is expected to grow by a CAGR of 9.1% between 2022 and 2026.

These numbers are a strong indication that more businesses will be turning to vCIO services in the coming years. But before you engage with a virtual CIO, it’s important to understand how the process works.

What is a vCIO
Source: Cision PR Newswire /SpendEdge

Virtual CIO services typically begin with a thorough assessment of your current technology infrastructure, identifying strengths and weaknesses and creating a detailed IT roadmap. 

Over the course of several months, your vCIO will work with your business stakeholders to educate and plan for tech investments, help sustain focus and momentum, gauge success and adjust as needed. 

This happens while your vCIO is working to align your organization’s long-term technology plan to the company’s overall strategic initiatives as priorities evolve.

This process goes beyond just technical strategy; it also addresses critical business operations that may need improvement to leverage new IT environments and technology solutions fully. 

By combining industry standards, best practices, and tested processes, a virtual CIO empowers your business with the right-sized technology investments that align with your business objectives.

How vCIO Services Can Address Common Technology Challenges

Carving out time for strategic planning amid the constant demands of running a business can be challenging. 

What a virtual CIO does is help your organization overcome this hurdle by providing valuable insights into the next stage of IT needs and investments required to support your organization fully. Some common challenges that virtual CIO solutions can help address include:

  1. Lack of a business continuity plan
  2. Struggles to meet compliance standards
  3. No plan for replacing legacy systems
  4. Identifying technology gaps that hinder progress

Often, simply having a third-party perspective can clarify needs and resolve gaps in a company’s technology strategy. 

For other organizations, which may lack any technology expertise, a vCIO can provide advice and access to the right tech business partners to set that company’s IT environment right.

Enhancing Your Business With Strategic vCIO Guidance

The role of a virtual CIO solution extends beyond managing IT. By understanding your business model, they can identify technology-related opportunities and provide solutions that boost your bottom line. 

Leveraging their technical expertise, a vCIO drives innovation, enabling your business to maintain a competitive edge. 

For those with an in-house IT team, the vCIO can provide guidance and support, and foster a collaborative environment that helps your internal team grow their skills and adapt to changing technological landscapes. 

For those partnering with outsourced technology services providers, the vCIO role can bridge the gap between technology experts and business leaders without IT experience. 

Traditional CIO vs. Virtual CIO: A Closer Look

Benefits of a Traditional CIOBenefits of a vCIO
In-house executive with a broad understanding of business technologyOffers the same level of operational and technological expertise
Provides full-time, dedicated serviceProvides flexible service tailored to your needs
May require substantial investment for full-time salary and benefitsCost-effective; you only pay for the services you need
Limited to their own perspective and skillsAccess to a team of IT professionals with diverse skills and experiences
Part of the permanent staff, requiring long-term commitmentCan be hired for specific projects or strategic guidance, no long-term obligation
Knowledge might be confined to your organization’s existing techCan bring fresh insights from different sectors or industries
Constant presence in the officeAvailability can be remote, making them accessible regardless of geographical location

Interested in learning more about IT consulting? Check out these blogs:

Virtual CIO

Chart a Course for a Successful Future With Insight From a Seasoned vCIO

When selecting a virtual CIO service, consider their technical expertise, communication skills, and understanding of your industry. 

They should be capable of identifying your business needs and providing customized IT solutions. A good vCIO should also be able to seamlessly integrate into your team, even if they are not always physically present.

Virtual CIO services can be a game-changer for businesses seeking to leverage technology effectively, gain a competitive advantage, and drive innovation. 

As a leading managed services provider, Exigent Technologies pairs every account with a dedicated vCIO. By working with one of our vCIOs, you can align your IT strategies with your business objectives and thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Start your journey to long-term success today with a seasoned vCIO in your corner. For more information about our virtual CIO services, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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