Why your business needs a part-time CIO

The best businesses are always striving for growth. And while much of that growth comes from great ideas, there comes a point where you need the right systems to support strong, reliable performance.


This has never been truer than today, when many businesses have had to completely think how they operate following the switch to remote working. Infrastructural integrity is critical to the modern organisation, but the challenge for most high-growth businesses is that the right people to lead technology development aren’t affordable; good Chief Information Officers (CIOs) don’t come cheap. There is a solution, however

The best businesses are always striving for growth. And while much of that growth comes from great ideas, there comes a point where you need the right systems to support strong, reliable performance. This has never been truer than today, when many businesses have had to completely think how they operate, embracing remote working for the first time.

Infrastructural integrity is critical to the modern organisation, but the challenge for most high-growth businesses is that the right people to lead technology development aren’t affordable; good Chief Information Officers (CIOs) don’t come cheap. There is a solution, however.

More and more SMEs are turning to an external CIO model, in which they partner with an IT managed services company for technical expertise and strategic guidance. This allows them to make better investments and align technical roadmaps with business goals, without having to blow the budget on an in-house CIO.

If this approach sounds appealing, here are some of the things a part-time outsourced CIO can do to accelerate your business growth:

  1. Assess your current situation (including vulnerabilities)

In many SMEs, there isn’t someone with sufficient experience to analyse where your current technical weaknesses lie. A part-time CIO is a flexible, cost-effective way to gain experienced consultancy, and identify where investment is needed most.

A good IT managed services company will provide an on-site or virtual CIO who can assess your current capabilities when it comes to cyber security, disaster recovery, regulatory compliance and system reliability; four essential components when running a high-performance business.

The CIO can then put a strategy in place to minimise risk in each of these areas – finding solutions that offer long-term effectiveness and value for money.

  1. Align technology investment to business goals

There’s often a discord within SMEs between what’s happening at a strategic level, and technology spend. All too often, companies are held back by IT systems that simply can’t support your changing needs.

A part-time CIO is an affordable way to make sure there’s a senior technical expert within your business, who can operate at board level to align your technology roadmap with your overall business objectives.

  1. Bring innovative solutions to the table

Bringing a CIO to board level discussions won’t just align technical and business strategies; it will ensure there is someone at the top who can suggest innovative solutions, and drive new technology initiatives and digital solutions with confidence – in partnership with the CEO. 

The CIO’s role as an innovator is more important than ever; according to analyst IDG, 89% of CIOs say they lead digital transformation within their business. Outsourcing CIO support is a cost-effective way to benefit from blue sky thinking, in order to launch new systems and processes that help to reduce costs, increase revenue, and empower staff performance.  

  1. Regularly provide updates and feedback

Your business never stops evolving, and neither do your IT needs. A part-time CIO ensures that someone is always keeping a watchful eye on your infrastructure, checking that the systems in place support overall strategies, and identifying where improvements can be made to enhance bottom-line performance.

A good IT managed services partner will ensure your contracted CIO provides regular reviews and workshops, as well as access to ongoing monitor and analytics. The CIO can also provide discussion sessions to educate staff on critical technology issues, such as how to protect your business from cybercrime, and GDPR compliant data security.

  1. Ensure a scalable future

One of the biggest differences between SMEs that use CIO services and those that don’t is how far ahead your technical roadmap extends. Those that invest in IT consultancy have one eye to the future, ensuring that any technology investment supports long-term growth.

This way, technology is always propelling your business forwards, not holding it back, and you can be confident that the systems you’re investing in will deliver strong return on investment, while meeting the needs of the whole team.

 

Finding the right part-time CIO for your business

If the idea of a part-time CIO sounds appealing, Epoq IT can support all your strategic IT requirements in a flexible, affordable manner.

My CIO is an outsourced CIO service that ensures your company has complete clarity and control over IT systems, while supporting your operational spend, security and compliance. We’ll give you a simplified vision of where your business needs to invest, and what it needs to invest in, to support your overall business objectives.

To get you started, we offer a comprehensive business assessment, which quickly and effectively determine where your IT strategy can be enhanced. Generally, this will comprise of the following elements:

BITA – Business IT Assessment. Benchmark how competitive your company is in the market, based on your current IT systems. Identify the areas where you’re currently at a disadvantage, and where further attention can accelerate you ahead of the competition.

ITIA – IT Infrastructure Assessment. Understand how your current IT structure is powering your business, and where it is holding you back, in order to create a plan for future reliability, performance and growth.

ITSA – IT Security Assessment. Learn which security threats are most likely to impact your business, and how well (or not) your current IT systems could stand up to them. We can then make strategic recommendations on how to increase security in sub-par areas.

 

Book a free virtual workshop to benefit from a tailored assessment based on your business, and to see first-hand how CIO support can help you reach your goals quicker.  Call us on 01494 976939 to discuss your current needs.

James Clark

Written by James Clark

I focus on continuous improvement to the way IT Service Management is delivered to many SME clients. I’m enthusiastic about enhancing the efficiency of IT processes to support business objectives.