6 Things to Look for in a Virtual CIO

October 23, 2019 - by Synoptek

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The benefits of digital transformation are far too many to ignore. While it is relatively easy for large IT organizations to drive transformation – mainly due to the availability of the right talent and the required budget – the smaller and non-IT ones have a tough time embarking on the journey.

For those who dream of growth and expansion through IT, IT experts (if any) are busy fixing everyday issues, leaving no time to plan for or nurture a robust IT strategy. For such organizations, getting a virtual chief information officer (CIO) on board is a great alternative.

What to Look For in a Virtual CIO

Organizations that seek advice and direction with respect to IT usually look for a consultant who can provide the right IT advice and recommendations. However, many fail to understand the correlation between business performance and the operation and management of their IT infrastructure.

Lack of knowledge and insight into what goes into devising the right IT strategy can bring more harm than good. That’s why you need to find an expert who understands this relationship and can provide reality-based recommendations with a framework that measures improvements across IT performance and business results. That said, here are 6 things to look for in a virtual CIO:

1. Agility

The tech and business landscape is changing extremely rapidly. Organizations have to move fast, or they stand the risk of being left behind. The virtual CIO you choose needs to able to drive agility, to adapt to the pace of change and also change direction if needed. A consultant should have the ability to make decisions quickly and adapt to the pace of change, so you can embrace new tech and be relevant at the same time.

2. Customization

Given the fact that every organization is unique in its own way, with unique operating models, IT environments, business strategy and business goals, the virtual CIO you look for should have a good understanding of the different technology approaches needed to meet specific business requirements. Since a one-size-fits-all approach cannot work, your consultant should have the capability to provide recommendations that best fit your particular organization and offer solutions that are customized and tailored to meet your business objectives.

3. IT Skills

For a virtual CIO to be able to provide sound advice and guide you in the right direction, your consultant should be a thorough professional with skills spanning the length and breadth of modern technology. When on the lookout, make sure to choose a well-trained business executive who is familiar with running a business, driving change through IT and achieving results.

4. Leadership Skills

The virtual CIO you choose should also possess leadership skills and have experience and expertise in making important IT decisions; someone who can participate in board-level meetings and correlate business goals and objectives with IT strategy and tactics, so you can drive the intended outcomes – quickly and easily. With the right leadership skills, the virtual CIO will be able to devise a technology roadmap and identify opportunities to use new technology tools.

5. Experience

A virtual CIO who has carried out similar projects in the past will be able to provide advice and guidance based on your consultant’s experience. Therefore, look for an executive with a good record of past performance, competency, and satisfied clients. It is through experience that the virtual CIO will be able to formulate robust strategic goals, plan your IT budget, analyze and revamp business processes and facilitate technology changes.

6. Customer Service

Lastly, when looking for a virtual CIO, choose one who embraces customer service as a principal component of their business model. With the right customer service attitude, the virtual CIO will be in a better position to understand your challenges and plan for solutions that will most positively impact your organization.

Make the Right Decision

Driving change through IT has become a business prerogative for businesses big and small. Fortunately, with a virtual CIO, you can enable Digital Transformation – quickly and cost-effectively. The trick lies in choosing a resource with the right experience, IT and leadership skills; someone who goes beyond managing networks and IT infrastructure and provides a set of recommendations that focus on your organization and your IT and business goals.

Accomplish your goals with a virtual CIO. Contact Synoptek today for a free consultation.