Why Having a Virtual CIO Is a Good Idea for Smaller Businesses

In the United States, chief information officers can command salaries in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s not counting yearly bonuses, stock, and stock options at larger corporations, according to CIO.com. For some high-profile CIOs, these figures can easily stretch into the millions. While that’s great for them, it might not be so great for you or your business.

If you’re in charge of a small- to medium-size business, chances are your information technology budget isn’t built for such a person. But if you need someone to oversee your company’s IT functions just as well—and for a lot less—you might consider hiring a virtual CIO (vCIO) instead.

Virtual CIOs, Explained

So just what is a vCIO? If you’re picturing a digital Wizard of Oz hiding behind a computer screen somewhere, you’re only half correct. Although the vCIO you choose might be a tech whiz, he or she probably won’t be that mysterious. A vCIO is simply a consultant who supports your company’s IT functions part time. Think of him or her as an on-demand advisor for anything involving your IT infrastructure, budget, goals, vendors, and plans, but who isn’t always onsite.

Below, we explain why having a vCIO is an advantage for your business.


Strategic Direction

No matter how large or small your IT department is, it can always benefit from someone who not only understands the daily details, but who can see the bigger picture. Where is your IT infrastructure now? Where does it need to be? What hardware and software are best for your needs? How strong is your network security? Are you complying with regulations? How is your customer-relationship software helping or hurting you? A vCIO can answer all of these questions and draw on their extensive experience to create a roadmap for the present and future of your company.


Disaster Recovery

Most business owners are aware how important it is to back up their data. If a flood, fire or earthquake occurs, it’s vital to be able to access files and other important assets. A vCIO can make sure you have a disaster recovery strategy in place, as well as a more extensive business continuity plan that will keep you functioning on multiple fronts.


Data Migration and Integration

IT is an ever-changing landscape, so it’s important to make sure your business is using the most effective technology it can. One trend that only appears to be increasing is businesses moving their data to the cloud, and, by extension, gaining more a more unified communications infrastructure (voice, email, video, instant messaging, remote access, and more). A vCIO can oversee this process and make sure your company’s data transitions smoothly.

If you’re looking for a partner that can provide a managed IT service like vCIO, call Applied Network Consulting Group today for a free consultation. We have extensive experience helping clients achieve their goals and grow their businesses.