Everyone celebrates when a business is thriving and growing. However, some challenges come along with all the good things. Nowhere is this truer than when considering the IT in your business. It is not uncommon for a business to fall on the cusp of hiring a full-time chief information (or technology) officer. Or not. When you are uncertain about bringing such a person into the company, you have a smart, viable alternative available to you. A Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) is the answer. Another name for a vCIO is a Virtual Chief Technical Officer (vCTO). Despite the word virtual, this person is a living, breathing person. The biggest difference is that virtual CIO services come from outside the organization.

At Catapult Tech Solutions, we believe a vCIO is a businessperson who performs the role of a CIO. What exactly does that mean? There are basically two areas of responsibility. First, there are the business and financial considerations. Second, is the technology side, which is more hands on with networks, servers, hardware, software, and wiring. Someone performing vCIO services is not a decisionmaker for the organization. Instead, he is someone who knows the organization, the technology in place, what is needed, and then makes recommendations. Another benefit to a vCIO is that, in reality, you get a team of experts and professionals because he has all the resources of Catapult Tech Solutions and partners at hand.

Wondering what a vCIO can do for you?

 

BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A VCIO

Planning

Efficiency Analyses 

The virtual chief information officer performs efficiency analyses. Is the current technology and personnel performing optimally? What are the best options to alter current systems and processes to improve performance and productivity? The answers to those questions drive possible changes.

Scaling for Growth

If you are part of a rapidly growing organization, you face additional challenges. The scaling up of systems, processes, and personnel to meet growing demand is another aspect the vCIO considers. Looking to the future and predicting future needs influences your ability to make informed decisions. Those decisions effect how you keep your business stable as it grows.

Compliance 

Regulatory compliance is another major concern. In particular it is top of mind you with doing business in the medical or healthcare sectors. Putting best practices and processes in place that comply with regulations like those for HIPAA is essential. Strict rules dictate the ways in which you assure secure storage of employee or customer information. In addition, guidelines exist for the flow of information in the course of business as well.

Security

Security lies at the center of every aspect of IT and the success of your business. You know protecting your data and your network is of utmost importance. Without sufficient IT Security in place, your business is always vulnerable. A vCIO makes sure that every appropriate protection and security practice is employed.

 

Tech/IT Responsibilities of a vCIO

Assessment and Roadmapping

One of the first tasks undertaken by a vCIO is an assessment of the current state of the technology in your organization. It is not uncommon to see a virtual CIO crawling under desks and into closets while chasing wires, ports, and servers. He then identifies and documents applications, workflow, processes, and uses. Next, he develops a strategic roadmap for success. It includes all forms of technology and use such as cloud, collaboration, applications, work processes, security. Everything is mapped ensuring inclusion of all systems, hardware, and software. 

Infrastructure Service and Maintenance

While your roadmap outlines everything’s use and location, the infrastructure of it all is assessed. The vCIO will identify the need for hardware to establish firewalls and other security measures. To eliminate discovered vulnerabilities, he also assesses the processes for updates and patches. Then he makes recommendations for tools to monitor and automate maintenance tasks.

Compliance

Again, security and regulatory compliance goes under review. This time, however, he reviews security from a different viewpoint, that of hardware, applications, and infrastructure.

Troubleshooting and Consultation

When big issues that affect your business arises or questions come up, virtual CIO services give you an experienced person to contact. Help or answers are just a phone call away.

 

While IT Consulting approaches several of the same areas as a virtual chief information officer, it is for a particular time or reason. An IT consultant provides answers to the questions at hand. The virtual CIO looks at everything globally. Then he considers how it fits into the needs and budget of your organization.

One of the biggest benefits is that vCIO services bring professional expertise into your business. And does it without the expense of a full-time employee. You get the level of knowledge you need for less of an investment.

An effective vCIO arrangement produces an environment of confidence and security. Your business has an expert watching out for your technology. Just like you rely on professionals for accounting or legal advice you can rely on a virtual chief information officer from Catapult Tech Solutions for IT advice. Contact us at 317-522-1299.

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