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Strategy | 2 min read

What is a vCIO, And Is One Right for Your Business?

Nick Bambulas
Written by Nick Bambulas

My official job title is Virtual Chief Information Officer, or vCIO. Perhaps you’ve never heard of the term and are wondering, “What is a virtual CIO?”

Despite the name, there’s nothing virtual about who I am or what I do. I am a real, living, breathing person — not a hologram, chatbot or simulation — and I do real work for a lot of companies across a wide spectrum of industries.

For many Managed IT service providers, a vCIO is somewhat of a figurehead — a person who carries a title but has very little influence on impacting real change in a company’s IT infrastructure in alignment with its long-term business goals. A real vCIO will establish a trusting relationship and serve as a liaison between you and the Managed IT provider’s technology team to ensure your needs are taken care of properly.

So, what exactly do I do all day and why does it matter?

What Does a vCIO Do?

At Elevity, my job is to serve as a chief information officer for organizations that don’t have a full-time CIO on staff. A day in the life of a vCIO involves spending a lot of time in the field, digging around our customers’ wiring closets, climbing under desks, chasing down wiring diagrams, and testing their information technology infrastructures.

More importantly, as vCIO, I collaborate with and advise our clients' IT departments and perform the same functions and consulting services as a conventional CIO.

The duties of a vCIO include:

  • Formulating strategic IT goals
  • Planning an IT budget
  • Strategizing digital transformation initiatives
  • Analyzing and reworking business processes
  • Facilitating technology changes
  • Proactive cyber security assessments
  • Assisting with disaster recovery plans
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance
  • Improving overall business operations and streamlining processes
  • Providing progress reports and recommendations
  • And more

Virtual CIO services begin with a comprehensive assessment of an organization’s current technology and its limitations, gaining an understanding of business objectives, and building a roadmap to a more productive future.

RELATED: 7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a vCIO and Managed IT Partner

A vCIO Gear Guide

To give you a sense of how this all works, it may help to provide an overview of the typical vCIO gear and tools that are used to get to work inside a company’s infrastructure.

My role as a vCIO begins with a network assessment, in which I use software analysis tools and old-fashioned legwork to identify everything on a company’s network. Sometimes the tools give me all the information I need, but more often, we find issues and mysteries around every corner. “What exactly is that red wire coming from the attic and what does it do?”


How Much Does a vCIO Cost?

The growing need for technology and the fast pace at which it’s expanding often calls for outside expertise. Leveraging the capabilities of a virtual CIO as part of a Managed IT service agreement is surprisingly cost-effective for most companies, and pales in comparison to hiring a full-time, on-site executive position to perform similar duties.

Cost savings is just one of the many benefits of a virtual CIO. Learn more about the benefits of a vCIO by viewing the infographic below, and contact the IT experts at Elevity to explore whether it’s the right time to start working with a vCIO as part of a Managed IT service. Then, contact us to schedule a consultation where we’ll assess your situation and provide recommendations that fit your budget.

Top Seven Benefits of A Virtual vCIO infographic - blog footer CTA

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