If you’ve been struggling to determine the best software for your internal operations, or how to network securely and efficiently, or if you’re overwhelmed by the glut of choices and technologies available to companies in all industries today, you may need a contract CIO.
A contract CIO can enter the scene, ascertain the best physical setup of equipment and networks, advise which software is necessary and which is not, and work with other executives and the business owner to identify when new technologies can enhance their strategies.
Save Money and Solve Problems with a Contract CIO’s Expertise
A contract CIO functions as a dedicated technology leader who is constantly aware of emerging technologies, as well as the continued benefits of established methods and programs. He’s already gone through the tough process of vetting vendors to select only the best and most reliable software and can match those choices perfectly with your needs. Because he’s so aware of what works and what doesn’t, a contract CIO can save you a lot of money. Experimenting with software, hardware or networking setups can really eat away at a budget – a contract CIO removes the need for guesswork.
If you’ve already purchased hardware and software but are having a hard time fitting them into the scope of your business and existing strategies (like accounting or marketing, for example), a contract CIO will help map out the best use of what you already have, in addition to making recommendations for new acquisitions.
A Contract CIO Is Your Vendor Liaison
Few things can be as tiresome for busy business owners as having to deal with salespeople from competing vendors who all claim to have a perfect solution. A contract CIO becomes the go-between, sheltering the owner and other leaders from the vendor selection process and dealing with tech salespeople directly. When necessary, he’ll seek input from others (such as whether a social media monitoring suite’s features satisfy the marketing needs) but he becomes the point of contact for what can otherwise feel like a feeding frenzy.
Contract CIOs Keep an Eye on the Competition
I’ve seen firsthand the frustration business owners feel when they think they have finally put together the perfect tech setup for their company, only to find a direct competitor is using a newer, more efficient setup that’s really dazzling their audience. A contract CIO watches carefully over the technologies competitors are using and ensures your business can not only keep up, but can use newer and better technology to better serve clients or customers and gain more footing over the competition.
Contract CIOs Take Care of Security and Stability
You need to know that your company’s tech isn’t going to fail at a critical time. You need to be 100% sure your company’s data, especially that of your clients or customers, is totally safe. You need to be compliant with rules and regulations, some of which you may never have heard of unless you work expressly in the tech sector.
A contract CIO, by contrast, is fully aware of the regulations that need to be met, and ensures software, networks, servers and more are as close to bullet-proof as possible. Not only does this give you peace of mind, but it allows you to give an honest guarantee to your clients or customers that their information is safe with you. In an era when privacy is a huge consumer concern, this is important.
Contract CIOs Integrate New Technology Seamlessly
I’ve heard business owners say they’re reluctant to upgrade a key suite of software, buy next-gen hardware or expand a network because things have been running so smoothly they don’t want to upset the balance. But that shouldn’t be an excuse for taking advantage of new technology. When critical updates are necessary, a contract CIO can ensure they are made in a way that doesn’t disrupt business. Also, when he identifies new technology that can enhance current operations, he can devise a plan for adding it that minimizes any downtime.
Contract CIOs Oversee Your IT Department
Whether you have multiple IT employees or a single talented freelancer, your contract CIO will oversee the work your IT team does to make sure it’s efficient, compliant and correct. This is an area where I find most business owners are mystified. IT people are usually more interested in getting a job done than explaining how it’s done, which is part of what makes them useful to an organization. But for a business owner who’s not as tech-savvy, there’s simply no way to effectively monitor their work. A contract CIO can keep a careful eye on things and help guide your IT team in the right direction if they stray off-track.
Ready to add a contract CIO to your company? Find out more about what we offer at our CIO Outsourcing and Advisory page or view our packages and rates. If you have questions or just want to discuss your needs, feel free to get in touch.