What is a Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO)?

Managed service providers offer companies an array of options for technology and security. As businesses embrace IT outsourcing, terms like vCIO are becoming more common. 

If you haven’t experienced managed services, the words virtual chief information officer or vCIO might not mean much to you. However, a vCIO might be precisely what you need to grow your business to the next level. 

In this article, we discuss the role of a virtual chief information officer and what this service can offer your company’s security and scalability. 

Cut to the Chase: What is a vCIO?

A virtual chief information officer serves as a chief information officer (CIO) without being an in-house part of your leadership team. As part of a managed service, the vCIO will do much of what an internal CIO does without a company having to spend money on hiring, development, benefits, and other expenses related to managing internal employees. 

Here are some of the services a vCIO offers: 

  • Technology Leadership

    Many IT teams lack leadership and direction. Without those elements, even the best equipment and security won’t keep your company moving forward. A vCIO studies your company’s processes, while identifying the most efficient ways to help your team overcome its biggest challenges.  
  • Long-Term Technology Strategy

    A vCIO creates a long-term technology strategy to serve as a roadmap to your team’s loftiest IT goals. A well-designed plan is key in understanding where you stand and where you can be with the right leadership, tools, and equipment.  
  • Review and Maintenance of IT Infrastructure

    Regular reviews and maintenance keep your infrastructure up and running, while also maintaining security. A vCIO ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. Appropriate oversight prevents costly downtime and highly reduces the chance of a data breach. 
  • Compliance Oversight

    A vCIO’s oversight takes compliance regulations into account. Your company can maintain compliance without sacrificing the time it could spend focusing on core business initiatives.  
  • Vendor Management

    Often when bringing on a vendor, it’s one more account to manage; however, managed service providers do the legwork when it comes to managing vendors. You would deal with one vendor, the vCIO, and they would take care of the rest—even if they need to bring in a third party to meet your company’s needs.  
  • New Technology Recommendations

    One of the best ways to move forward, no matter the type of industry, is to have access to the latest technology. A vCIO continually researches the newest advancements and determines how they could align with your company’s long-term strategy and goals.

Why Use a vCIO Instead of Hiring an In-House CIO?

There are several reasons a company would hire a vCIO rather than an in-house employee. The choice between the two is dependent on the company’s preferences, size, goals, and other unique factors. 

Here are a few reasons a company might take the virtual route: 

  • The Potential to Improve the Bottom Line

    Managed service providers are remarkably cost-effective when compared to hiring and managing an internal employee. The vCIO acts as an extension of your internal team but doesn’t cost you money in benefits, professional development, and other employee perks.  
  • The Power of an Entire Team

    As we mentioned in regard to cost-effectiveness, managed service providers come to you fully-trained with comprehensive expertise. Adding to the overall impact, managed service providers offer you the power of a full team, rather than that of one person. This value provides you with more power for less than the cost of hiring on your own.  
  • The Ability to Modify Services

    Your company’s IT needs will undoubtedly change over time. Rather than spending time developing your team to change with it, invest in a vCIO that can modify your services quickly to fit your needs. This way, there is always a team looking out for how you can improve and how they can make that happen.  
  • The Capacity to Scale Quickly

    With change often comes growth. And as you grow, you don’t want to be held back by your technology needs. A managed service provider ensures that you have a piece of equipment when you need it. They also ensure that you have the maximum capacity to grow as fast as you can without worrying about ordering the appropriate amount of equipment, setting it up for new employees, monitoring security, and other tasks related to growth. A vCIO offers you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll have exactly what you need, right when you need it. 

Companies can have IT expertise and leadership without the costly overhead associated with managing an internal team. A vCIO is a practical solution that provides endless opportunities for growth through technology. 

Contact Technology Lab to learn how our managed IT services make technology clear and straightforward. Let us take care of security and compliance so you can get back to your business’ core focus.