‘Virtual’ Chief Information Officer

24 Nov

As the level of technology has increased over the last decade or so, so has the importance and complexity of information technology for businesses. Technology has become crucial for an organisation to move forward in how they do business. With this in mind there have been more and more companies employing a Chief Information Officer to undertake the job of getting the most out of the firm’s investment in technology. This executive level officer generally has many years of experience and more than likely an advanced degree, possibly in business or IT. They are very tech savvy, highly educated, highly skilled and most importantly highly paid.

But this is where a problem can arise, the fact that they are highly paid might be an issue for some firms in hiring a CIO. Another issue is that there are many companies out there who might not feel the need to employ a CIO full-time to fill the gap between executive management and Information Technology. This is where the role of the ‘Virtual CIO’ comes into the equation as a vCIO helps the firm choose which CIO competencies the company needs now, helping with the overall Information Technology direction, governance and planning to support strategic business initiatives. For businesses that need IT experts there are companies out there where chief information officers are for rent. They are provided to businesses in need of an IT expert and a virtual CIO is essentially an outsourced IT executive hired by companies that can’t afford, find or need a full-time worker.

On a weekly basis they will meet with the management staff and executives to bring them his/her information technology expertise to bear, simplifying complex technologies, adding clarity to projects, and helping the management in making sensible decisions. They work with the business to analyse their IT needs, whilst creating a strategy and expanding the staff when needed as the business grows. The job of the vCIO is to understand what the business requirements are for the company and to build the right IT infrastructure.

A virtual CIO essentially helps free up time for the owners, CEO’s, CFO’s and prevents them from splitting their time between running the business and looking after the information technology issues as well.

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5 Responses to “‘Virtual’ Chief Information Officer”

  1. ismisetusa November 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    excellent idea on the vertual CIO – have you come accross any problems with this method so far, perhaps dedication of the CIO considering it would be a ‘part-time’ position and the difficulty for a CIO to implament new systems with a lack of authority from not having ‘face time’ with users, management and stakeholders.

  2. ismisetusa November 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Reading your most recent blog I see how a CIO is to successfully implament any new software and how strategy, processes and other IT methods are strongly interlinked and how CIO are to confront them.

    Well done – WONDERFUL blog

    • ericlynch1 November 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      Also thanks for the great feedback,I knew my blogs would reach out to someone eventually. Long live the CIO

  3. ericlynch1 November 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I haven’t come across any problems so far but would have to research a bit more to be honest. Personally though, I would disagree that the virtual CIO would consider it a part-time job as there are actually several companies out there who provide this service for organisations already.

    It is essentially just outsourcing the role and these companies basically provide CIO’s for rent and they come into a business and provide their expertise on all things IT. They solely concentrate on the business to provide the knowledge on the current IT practices and the improvements that could or should be made. They meet regularly with the high level executives and give them their feedback and advice on what is best for the business.

    2 such companies which provide this service are Nayzak and the Arrington Group. Check them out.
    I appreciate your feedback and it was a very valid point..
    Cheers.

  4. ericlynch1 November 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Also thanks for the great feedback. I knew my blogs would reach out to someone eventually..
    Long Live the CIO……..

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