What is a vCIO and Why Do I Need One as a Small Business?

If you run a small business, then there’s a good chance that you’re also functioning as your company’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). And if this is the case, then you’re likely all too familiar with how much time and effort it takes to stay on top of all your company’s daily technology needs. At the same time, your business isn’t quite large enough yet to justify hiring a full time CIO, and you don’t necessarily have the extra funds to bring in an IT team. So, what are your options? Well, you may want to consider using a virtual CIO, also commonly referred to as a vCIO service. Essentially, a vCIO is an outsourced IT service that can manage just about every aspect of your company’s technology needs—all for the fraction of the price of hiring an on-site CIO. We hope you find this information helpful, as it is our purpose to help people build great businesses.

Save Time and Increase Productivity

First and foremost, when you employ the use of vCIO services, you no longer have to worry about the hassle of managing your company’s technology needs again. Instead, you can be rest assured that your vCIO is taking care of this, which frees up more time for you as a business owner to manage other important aspects of the company. This time savings can allow you to be more productive in other areas of business management. Not to mention, when you think about it, the time saved by not having to micro-manage your company’s IT will save you money as well.

Cut Down on Operating Costs

Of course, hiring a full-time CIO to work for your company would also free up a lot of your time and increase your productivity. However, you must also consider the costs that come along with on-boarding a full-time CIO. For starters, you’d have to bring in your CIO at a full-time salary (with the average salary in the United States being more than $140,000 per year). Then, you must also consider the benefits you would likely need to offer to your CIO, including paid leave time, insurance, and possibly retirement benefits. For a small- to medium-sized business, this is simply not something you can easily afford. By employing the services of a vCIO, on the other hand, you enjoy all the benefits of a CIO without the added costs. Since you’re outsourcing the work, you don’t need to pay an annual salary, nor do you need to provide benefits or even an on-site desk space. It’s all done virtually, and the cost savings are huge.

Protect Important Data and Information

One of the most important roles a vCIO plays is that of making sure your company’s important data and information is protected from security threats, such as hackers or other cyber-attackers. This means that rather than having to scramble to recover from an attack after-the-fact, your vCIO can protect your company from falling victim to one in the first place. Specifically, a vCIO may do this by:

  • implementing security patches
  • installing software updates as needed
  • creating much-needed security policies

Make the Most of Your Technology Budget

If your business is just starting out, there’s a good chance that you’re rather limited in your technology budget to begin with. And if you’re not using the right technology to help achieve your business goals, then you’re not making the most out of the technology budget you currently have. A vCIO can analyze your specific business goals, assess your current technology, and make recommendations in terms of maximizing your IT budget with new software, hardware, or other technology that will help you reach those goals in a more cost effective manner. In this sense, a vCIO can help you get the most out of your IT budget while also making sure you have a detailed IT plan.

Receive Customized Reports/Recommendations

When you attempt to handle your own IT needs as a business owner, it can be overwhelming to keep track of what’s working versus what’s not. Even if you have a system in place for tracking data and analytics, you may not have the experience or resources to properly assess that data and make decisions based off of it. This is where a vCIO can come in handy. Specifically, a vCIO service can send you customized reports that explain trends and findings from your current IT set-up. From there, your vCIO can make further recommendations regarding new software or other technology that may be worth investing in, for your business. Of course, at any time, you can turn to your vCIO to ask for input or recommendations regarding your company’s IT needs. For example, perhaps you’re thinking about investing in a new technology, but you’re not sure whether or not the initial investment required will pay off in the long run. The experts with your vCIO service will be able to provide you with a researched and informed recommendation in this regard, allowing you to be more confident when making such decisions.

Choosing the Right vCIO

If you’re considering the option to hire a vCIO for your business, you’ll want to make sure you’re not just choosing any company for the job. Specifically, there are some things you’ll want to look for when selecting a vCIO, including:

  • experience with similar-sized companies
  • sound communication skills
  • ability to come up with innovative ideas/solutions

Of course, if budget is a concern (which is the case for many small business owners), you’ll also want to find a vCIO service that’s within your specific budget. Overall, hiring a vCIO is one of the best decisions a small business owner can make to become great. Doing so will free up time to focus on other aspects of running your business while also being more cost effective than hiring a full-time, on-site CIO. Contact TechBundle today to find out more about our IT solutions, including vCIO services.