Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Virtual CIO" - A CIO in the Cloud?

Large corporations today rely upon Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to bridge the knowledge gap between executive management and Information Technology management. As opposed to an IT Director, CIOs make long-term, high-level technology planning and spending decisions as it relates to current and future business needs. While small and mid-sized companies have the same need for CIOs as large corporations, most cannot afford a full time CIO.

In addition to moving applications, data, and other services "to the cloud", many smaller organizations are taking advantage of the services of a Virtual or “part time” CIO for either a finite period or on an ongoing basis. It's a cost-effective solution that helps small and medium sized businesses take advantage of the benefits of a high level resource who can understand their business needs and align those needs properly with the right technology strategy.

According to IT experts, using a “vCIO” or  "CIO in the Cloud" makes sense for small and mid-sized businesses that:
  • Could use the expertise but can’t afford to pay someone full time
  • Has outgrown its current IT capabilities, needs to upgrade, and wants input from someone who is vendor-neutral, and knows the marketplace well enough to suggest solutions that would be a good fit
  • Has a large technology project that calls for more expertise than the company’s in-house IT resources can offer
  • Is involved in a merger or acquisition and could use an outsider’s advice on how to blend different IT systems
  • Want to take their IT operations “in a new direction”

There are a number of organizations today that offer this service. Is it right for your organization and it's needs?