A CIO is typically a software executive with experience leading various organizational departments, like product development, engineering, research, and development or sales. The CIO often reports to the chief executive officer (CEO). A vCIO is typically the information technology leader for an organization who reports directly to the CEO. The company may already have an IT department, but it needs to be generally considered more significant to function as a separate business unit. As the role of IT has shifted from an IT department to an area that impacts every company’s function, it has also ballooned to include roles such as chief information security officer (CISO) and chief technology officer (CTO). A virtual CIO is usually a person responsible for a company’s day-to-day IT operations and is often called the CIO of a company or business unit. The vCIO is typically an executive that plays a role in leading IT.
The virtual CIO position’s essence is to ensure all aspects of IT are running smoothly and are an integral part of the business. Examples include: The basics of a vCIO usually describe a situation where there is an efficient IT department and then a company CEO who typically has very little to do with IT. As with any position, both leaders must understand what the other does so they can be on the same page so they can collaborate better on achieving their goals for IT as a whole.
Why Choose a vCIO Over an In-House CIO?
The vCIO is the IT professional who understands the client’s business and needs. He also understands that clients have very different goals and requirements, so he must be able to adjust his strategy to adapt to these shifting needs. Aside from this, a virtual CIO might be able to work with companies of all sizes and from all industries. This broad range of experience enables the vCIO to help clients determine the best implementation for their business, even if it means working directly with vendors such as Microsoft or Cisco Systems. Below are some of the main benefits of hiring a vCIO vs. an in-house CIO:
Virtual CIOs can help startups and small businesses scale their IT department and find solutions to larger company needs. -The vCIO can be hired by companies without IT departments since they are more efficient than having in-house staff run the operations and keep it all integrated. -A small business can easily hire a virtual CIO, compare his skill set to other candidates, and get him onsite if necessary. If they find the right vCIO, they can avoid paying a salary to a full-time IT professional. -The virtual CIO is more flexible and can better accommodate the needs of his clients. He has experience working with large businesses and startups alike, so he knows how to work with different types of companies.
With technology changing every day, many changes occur within CIOs and vCIOs. They must keep up with new technologies to help their business grow and succeed. It is, therefore, critical for the vCIO to keep up with new technologies.