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What is a Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) and Do I Need One?

Qu’est-ce qu’un Chef de l'information virtuel (vCIO) et est-ce que j’en ai besoin?

A virtual Chief Information Officer, or vCIO, can help you manage your IT and plan your growth according to the objectives and strategic needs of your company. But before knowing if your business needs this service, you need to understand exactly what a vCIO is, and its advantages.

 

The Role and Skills of a vCIO

Adaptable to the needs of each company, a vCIO provides a service that contributes to the sound day-to-day management of your IT, while simultaneously understanding your strategic objectives and implementing concrete strategies and activities to meet them. The skills of a vCIO are vast, and a vCIO service will be able to adapt to maximize the scope of its actions within your company.

A vCIO can also take on the more complex aspects of planning, strategy, and governance for your business, to elevate your IT functions as part of your business growth. A vCIO also rises above the daily context of your IT functions to provide external perspective. This is achieved in several ways, such as:

  1. Performing a gap analysis between the current state and the desired state of your IT
  2. Continuing with a SWOT analysis of your IT functions
  3. Determining IT objectives and timelines, in accordance with your company’s strategies
  4. Establishing an IT project roadmap, accompanied by an annual IT budget for your company
  5. Identifying priority projects, setting them up and supervising them to ensure they achieve their objectives
  6. Determining and proposing processes that could be automated to accelerate your digital transformation
  7. Examining the possibilities of using artificial intelligence, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, robotization and more

The work of a vCIO is active and continuous. To guide you in your strategic decisions, analyses will be sent to you on a frequent basis to identify best practices in your industry and what can be done for your business, while involving your IT team, regardless of its size.

Who Needs a vCIO?

Whatever your sector of activity, you work with a computer park and different technologies that allow you to achieve your objectives. Nowadays, a business cannot grow without technological support. In order to improve your use of technologies, to move from reactive mode to proactive mode, the use of a vCIO service may be the solution for you.

The use of a vCIO is considered “a sustainable strategy by which an organization [can engage] a third party to be the CIO, but not as a full-time employee. This person or organization brings the tools and experience necessary to perform CIO responsibilities and works to understand the business’s technology needs.” (Oracle Netsuite, 2021)

This service is therefore primarily intended for companies that already have an IT team, whether internally or externally managed. Working with a vCIO allows you to capture a strategic vision of your technological objectives, and support your IT team in its projects and developments.

In addition, technologies are constantly changing, and at a very rapid pace. Your company and your IT team may therefore find themselves using potentially obsolete or outdated tools compared to the competition. A vCIO can help you to modernize your tools and their use within your company, while reducing your costs. And an expert such as a vCIO will be able to guide you in the right direction and thus save you considerable funds in the long run, by avoiding spending on IT projects which, in reality, would not have corresponded to your strategy, your objectives and/or your needs.

 

In short

A virtual chief information officer (vCIO) is a service that can help you achieve your strategic vision and improve your technological tools accordingly. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about our service and how it could accomplish your goals.

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