What is a vCIO?

What is a vCIO?

What is a vCIO? A virtual Chief Information Officer, or vCIO, is a resource that provides information technology consulting, planning, and reporting services. They come in all shapes and sizes, but most are outsourced employees, meaning they work as independent contractors or are employees of an outsourced IT support company. It is the vCIO’s job to work with the client’s key decision makers and provide strategic recommendations to help further the client’s goals through the use of technology.

Why a vCIO?
Many small to medium businesses find themselves in need of the services of a CIO but are unable to afford the cost of hiring a full-time executive level employee. Because a vCIO usually supports multiple clients, either as a contractor or as an employee of an outsourced IT support company, they are able to provide their services at a more economical rate.

What makes a good vCIO?
A good vCIO should feel like an employee of your organization. It’s their job to understand what you do and how technology allows you to achieve your goals. By understanding your needs and the needs of your organization, they helps guide you to solutions that help you be successful.

A good vCIO is:

  • Forward-looking
  • Budget-conscious
  • Goal-oriented
  • a “technology translator”
  • your go-to resource for technology strategy

A vCIO is not:

  • a salesperson
  • a Service Ticket manager
  • a person who calls only when they want something from you

Do you need a vCIO?
Unfortunately, there is no secret metric, no magic number of employees or computers, that dictates whether or not you should have a one. However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself that will help get the conversation started. Do you have reoccurring technology problems? Are you regularly faced with technology decisions that don’t seem to have a clear right answer? Do you find yourself spending so much time with technology issues that it takes away from meeting your business goals? If your answer to any or all of these questions is yes, then it may be time to consider a vCIO.

By Joe Couillard, Client Relationship Manager