Technology enhances business productivity. No matter the size of your business, technology will help you make money and produce the results your customers demand. You will be able to automate mundane tasks, provide better services to your customers and manage your business on your fingertips. Technology has the capacity to research new opportunities and will keep you a step ahead of the competition.
IT project management is different from general project management. They have-
- Invisibility: You cannot see the software and its progress immediately.
- Complexity: IT projects need to consider security and precision that creates more complexity.
- Flexibility: Though it is easy to scale the hardware and software resources on a system, it is the duty of the administrator to make those changes aligned with the business.
It is the responsibility of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) to match your business strategy with your technical plan. A CIO takes the decision for purchase of IT equipment from suppliers and direct the workforce towards the creation of new systems. But not every small business can afford to allocate funds for a dedicated IT department. Even those companies that have a few in-house IT professionals, get a little time for maintenance, monitoring, and planning an effective IT strategy.
Who Is A vCIO?
A virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) is an exceptional alternative for businesses that don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in the salaries of permanent employees. A vCIO is an individual, a contractor, or a company, that provides CIO services to other companies. vCIO performs all the functions as a conventional CIO on a contract basis. Virtual CIO service provides best-in-class IT vision and execution of your business objectives on a budget and schedule that matches your needs. By hiring a virtual CIO service, you get more time to focus on your core business and allow an expert to handle all the IT stuff of your company.
How vCIO Aligns Business And IT?
Not every business owner is an IT expert. Just like others, you may be good at manufacturing shoes, fishing rods etc. or providing accounting and financial services to your clients. In order to implement technology, you can outsource your IT projects and let a vCIO take care of its development and ensure it is productive for your business. Let’s dig deep into the duties of a virtual CIO and see how they align business and IT.
Technology Infrastructure Planning:
The foremost responsibility of a vCIO is to gain an understanding of the state of your business and your requirements relate to IT. They do this by conducting meetings with key employees and devising a long-term sustainable plan. After identifying opportunities to use new technology tools, they assign specific roles to in-house or the outsourced IT team.
With thousands of hardware and software tools in the market, you may end up selecting expensive equipment that will hardly benefit your company. A vCIO service provider will devise an effective plan to minimize your budget and ensure that you get the right tools under it.
With an effective technical roadmap in hand, a vCIO will negotiate with the suppliers and vendors which otherwise becomes very time-consuming. He will take the responsibility of managing multiple vendors, preparing contracts, sending payments and evaluate the project development. He will communicate with the vendor and provide you with reports and charts of the development cycle.
Data Security Planning:
Cybercrime is on the rise. The world has already seen the devastating consequences of ransomware like – WannaCry. It is highly essential to consider security right in the development process. Your vCIO will help you in help you in developing effective security measures and policies in your company. He will train your employees and secure your IT infrastructure with the latest security tools.
Companies that fail to comply with compliance regulations like HIPAA for the healthcare information and PCI for storing credit card information, suffer lawsuits and penalties. A vCIO will research and become familiar with any compliance requirements for your business, and create a plan for meeting them.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning:
Another important role of a virtual CIO is to create a contingency plan. You will be storing crucial business information on your server and data center. These devices may wear and tear and eventually fail to respond causing a business downtime. Any failure will cost you thousands of dollars and a dent in business reputation. Your vCIO will devise an effective backup and disaster recovery plans so that any failure will not affect the entire working of your business operations.
By hiring a vCIO service provider, you can save yourselves from hiring permanent employees. Any time there is an IT project in your company, your vCIO will maintain oversight of all work happening. He will manage risks, and keep business executives and your IT team updated on progress at the regular meetings. He will gain insight into your current working practices and find innovative ways by which they can be optimized using technology. With a vCIO service, you can ensure that you maintain appropriate IT infrastructure for your needs, and develop a long-term sustainable business.