It’s true that companies still need a CIO, or chief information officer, but for small to medium sized businesses, they’re not always a practical solution. Smaller companies may not have the budget to have an IT department, never mind to pay the salary of a CIO. This is where managed IT service providers really shine – they offer businesses the chance to build their IT capabilities without the expense of staffing an in-house IT department.
Managed IT Providers also offer clients a VCIO in order to assist with many of the same duties that a traditional CIO usually undergoes. In other words, whatever role you expect a CIO to accomplish, a great VCIO will do those things, as well. Here are some of the ways a VCIO can enhance a company’s overall IT capabilities:
Manage IT Infrastructure
As a c-level executive, the CIO is responsible for overseeing a business’s IT infrastructure. This means that all the hardware, software, data, and networks within a business will be planned, organized, and maintained by the CIO. When the company uses a Managed IT Provider, this responsibility falls to the VCIO. This also means that the VCIO will insure that all the resources within the IT infrastructure are being used appropriately for all projects companywide.
Plan IT Budgets
One of the roles that a CIO has within a company is to plan IT budgets and the VCIO serves this same function. Maintaining the IT infrastructure of a company costs money, and it is the VCIO’s job to make sure that there is more than enough of it in the budget to allow the IT department to operate successfully.
Implement New Technologies
All VCIO’s understand that all technology used by the business as a whole need to pass through the IT department first. Whenever new technologies are implemented, such as new hardware or even a software update, the IT department needs to give its approval. As a result of this, they know how important it is for the company to stay current because implementing new technologies can increase efficiency and profitability. It is up to the VCIO to continually research new technologies and implement them when they’re deemed beneficial.
Ensure the Infrastructure is Secure
Another crucial role of the VCIO is to insure that all aspects of the IT infrastructure are secure. This goes for both the hardware and software and the VCIO will enact a system that will protect the business’s assets from cyber threats, such as hacking, phishing, and unpatched software. It is the job of the VCIO to identify all the potential security threats a business might face and address them to minimize the risks associated with them.
As you can see, hiring a Managed IT Provider gives businesses the chance to operate as if they have a fully staffed IT department located in-house, complete with a CIO. However, the VCIO usually isn’t based in the office – they offer their service remotely but will often visit the company they’re assisting. Using a Managed IT Provider with a VCIO allows companies to save money while still allowing their IT departments the chance to operate at full capacity.