The Virtual CIO
Within large corporations, it is common for a Chief Information Officer (CIO) to be viewed as one of the key contributors in formulating strategic goals for an organization. CIO’s are often tasked with driving crucial IT projects which are essential to the corporation’s strategic and operational objectives. Unfortunately, smaller firms rarely have the operating budget to hire a CIO to lead their strategic IT initiatives and this role falls to someone in the finance or accounting department. In many cases, the finance professional lacks the IT knowledge and experience to correctly set the strategic direction and make the day-to-day decisions.
With Able-One’s Virtual CIO offering, smaller companies are now enabled to make the right technology decisions. Through a team of experienced IT professionals, Able-One provides CIO-level experience around application selection, hardware and software infrastructure, budgeting, staffing and overall strategic planning as it relates to IT.
A logical place to start the first discussion with your virtual CIO team is around your current application software. We determine the applications you have deployed and whether the requirements of the business are being met. Often, legacy applications can be modernized, complete with mobile capabilities. We also have deep application migration and development skills if the current applications don’t factor into the strategic plan.
From applications, we move on to an infrastructure discussion, to determine whether the current hardware environment can support the existing or desired application mix. Your virtual CIO team will discuss the pros and cons of a cloud computing model versus an on-premise model to determine the best course of action, while taking into consideration various financing options.
Decisions made around the application mix and the desired hardware infrastructure will drive a budgeting discussion. Capital versus operating budgets will be discussed, in addition to staffing and professional services requirements. The goal in this phase is to develop a twelve to twenty four month plan for IT acquisition that fits within your overall budget.
As part of the Virtual CIO service, Able-One can help identify whether your current IT staff has the right skill sets based on where you are today, and where you’re heading in the future. We can help fill open positions through temporary or temp-to-hire resources managed by Able-One. Or utilize one of our skilled Technical Engineers in a staff augmentation role for a project roll-out or development effort. We also have the capability to completely outsource your day-to-day IT support through our Remote Managed Services group.
Able-One’s Virtual CIO offering may be customized to your specific needs. Typically, we can focus on the following areas or tasks as part of the engagement:
- Review and thoroughly document your IT environment in our standard template
- Evaluate cloud computing compared to on-premise computing resources
- Outline application modernization or migration strategies
- Establish a reliable nightly backup procedure and business continuity / disaster recovery plan
- Facilitate ongoing strategic planning which brings all of the elements together
Ultimately, the benefits realized by your organization will include the following:
- Allows you to focus on running your core business
- Avoid the additional cost of hiring a full-time CIO or senior IT person
- Establish budgets around IT purchases and staffing
- Develop an overall IT strategy to move your business forward