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Getting the Most Out of Your Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO)

Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) talking with clients on a video call

When you think of any C-level position, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) may be one you think of shortly after the CEO and CFO. A CIO, in brief terms, is the person who oversees a company’s technology strategy and planning initiatives. With technology intertwined into almost every aspect of today’s businesses, CIOs play a vital role in ensuring a business’s technological operations continue to run smoothly and drive innovations.

Although CIO is a key leadership position, some businesses — especially small- and medium-sized businesses — lack the resources to hire the role full time. Enter the Virtual Chief Information Officer, or vCIO.

A Core Part of Your Managed IT Services

Most businesses have heard of or may already be partnering with a managed services provider for their IT needs. As technology continues to grow in complexity, the managed services model allows a company to employ an entire team of specialized technicians and resources without the time and expenses of hiring full-time staff. 

Your managed services provider should already be offering essential services, like an IT helpdesk, and security tools, such as antivirus and antispam programs. But who manages these services and provides the overall road map and strategy for future technology needs? This is where the vCIO comes in. Some of the core responsibilities of a vCIO include:

  • Planning how and when to upgrade software and hardware
  • Assisting with new technology-based implementations and technology project planning
  • Educating leadership on the latest technology trends and concerns
  • Adapting technology to stay current with industry standards and compliance needs
  • Managing relationships with third-party technology vendors and experts
  • Identifying and mitigating security risks to protect an organization

Maximizing Your vCIO

Just as a CIO would be integrated into an executive team, a vCIO should be too. To gain the full value of having a vCIO, allow them to work alongside your leadership team to better understand your business and listen to your specific issues so that they can develop plans and employ the right technology to solve them.

A strong vCIO is the driving force behind all your IT initiatives, big and small. From managing your helpdesk to crafting the strategy to achieve your technology goals, vCIOs need your business’s support and input so that they can do their jobs as effectively as possible.  

Think back for a minute about how your business coped with the sudden switch to a remote environment that almost every organization faced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a rocky transition for many, and knowing what you do now, I’m sure you can see how a vCIO could’ve been valuable for your business, taking the technological burden of going remote off your shoulders.

Here we are a few years later, and we’re still seeing most organizations operating under or transitioning to a hybrid work environment, which requires robust technology and system security to support it. vCIOs are wonderful resources for navigating this type of work setup, ensuring an organization’s technology can run smoothly and safely whether your workforce is at home or in the office.

Partnering with a vCIO is an ideal option for small- to medium-sized businesses looking to elevate and empower their IT strategy. Although there are countless advantages to hiring a vCIO, they can’t do it all alone. Make the most out of your vCIO by involving them in your organization and lending them the support they need to drive results and achieve your business’s technology goals.

At Creative Planning Business Services, our managed IT services includes a vCIO offering tailored to meet the technology needs of your changing business. Schedule a meeting with us today to learn more about what our vCIOs can do for you. 

This commentary is provided for general information purposes only, should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.


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