When executives and business owners properly implement technology, business productivity soars. New technologies have always improved the capabilities of employees and the teams they work on, and this will remain the case for the foreseeable future.
But for every great leap forward technology provides the economy, improvements come with a great deal of risk. There are more technological dead-ends than there are transformative innovations, and it’s the job of the chief information officer (CIO) to identify the distinction between the two.
The CIO occupies a critical role in the C-suite hierarchy. This individual is responsible for developing and overseeing the strategic role that technology plays in the organization.
By contrast, most IT professionals are in the business of handling on-site tactical issues. These are the technically skilled employees who solve critical infrastructure problems, rather than the ones empowered to ask whether those problems were preventable in the first place.
Very few small businesses can afford the luxury of hiring a top-performing CIO. Even established mid-sized organizations often have trouble filling the role, and large enterprises frequently make headlines for luring the industry’s very best from one Fortune 500 company to another.
But small and mid-sized businesses can earn all of the benefits of a CIO without having to hire one. Managed network solutions vendors can fill this role with a suite of IT services that provide strategic guidance for their customers.
Managed IT Services as Virtual CIO: How It Works
At first glance, managed IT service vendors seem like the obvious choice to serve as CIOs for growing companies. They have an impressive amount of experience dealing with the problems that small businesses encounter in this field and bring the resources and expertise necessary to solve those problems to the table directly.
Strategic guidance is the major distinction that managed network services providers underline in order to set themselves apart as virtual CIOs. Beyond the ground-level delivery of expertise and the implementation of IT infrastructure, they need to be able to determine which systems are best suited to meeting their customers long-term business objectives.
This makes the vendor play an advisory role. As acting CIO, it would rely on its experience and capabilities to generate a technology roadmap and disaster recovery plan that the company would then review and sign off on.
Only the most reputable and experienced vendors of managed IT solutions can do this effectively. The virtual CIO handles infrastructure management, cybersecurity planning, and network health monitoring while directing managed service technicians to perform the tasks at hand.
Strategic Expertise Is Now Available On-Demand
Under a typical managed network services contract, an organization will develop its own technology roadmap and entrust the vendor to complete its objectives while adhering to the established service-level agreements. With a virtual CIO in place, new opportunities for efficiencies open up.
For instance, consider what happens when an organization’s technology roadmap turns out not to represent the most efficient method for achieving its long-term goals. A managed service vendor with experience operating in that specific field may be able to predict that the roadmap needs adjusting, but if it is not charged with strategic responsibility, it has no real incentive to operate beyond that mandate.
If the managed service vendor is responsible for strategic direction, then its success is contingent on the success of the company it works for. It enjoys the flexibility it needs to expand the scope of its services to meet goals that may fall outside traditional tasks like preventative maintenance and equipment deployment.
The managed service vendor as virtual CIO can play a greater role in process optimization. It can take greater responsibility for ensuring every employee benefits from proper cybersecurity training, and it can draw on its experience to determine the ideal resource allotment for achieving specific goals. It can lay new cables, update infrastructure, and improve help desk support quality autonomously.
Virtual CIOs accomplish all these goals for less than the cost of a single full-time IT employee salary. This is what makes the strategic benefit of contracting a managed service vendor as a CIO so attractive, particularly for small businesses preparing for growth they would otherwise be unable to accommodate.
Have Kelley Imaging Become Your Virtual CIO
Our team has the experience, knowledge, and strategic insight your organization needs to develop and deploy the most efficient technological infrastructure possible. Rely on our guidance to make the best use of our team of expert technicians, network managers, and cybersecurity specialists while your in-house team focuses on what it does best.
It’s time for your organization to make the move towards a more accessible, scalable network solution. Have Kelley Imaging become your virtual CIO today.