Do you really know when you need to upgrade your computers and network hardware, or change your software? Do you have a plan whether, or when should you virtualize your servers, or what to move to the cloud? How are you going to integrate tablets and smartphones and make sure your data is secure? Do you have a disaster recovery plan?
In large companies these questions are being answered by the corporate Chief Information Officer, or CIO who develops, directs, and integrates IT plans, staff, assets and processes, to help achieve their organization’s goals. But today, even those that can’t afford a full-time CIO, and they are expensive, may still need to answer these types of questions and gain an executive level perspective, cogent advice, and expert guidance.
Why not hire a consulting CIO as you might a lawyer or CPA…when you need them?
Most executives of small and medium-sized businesses are not experts on computer network technology; they are experts on their business. Likewise, most IT department heads and technicians understand technology issues, but aren’t experts on strategic analysis, financial goals, communications, or managing people. They may have a vested interest in building their department and importance. Besides, your company is growing and your needs are becoming far more complicated than any single IT staff member can handle alone. It can help to have another opinion, or informed C-level thinking to walk you through the questions that ought to be addressed before plans are formed and technology purchased.
A CIO is a technology expert, an arbitrator, a translator, a visionary, as well as a pragmatist. It is someone who gets to know a lot about every aspect of a business, and combines that with their knowledge of the changing world of IT in order to help you align business goals with your IT investment.
Instead of turning to vendors or colleagues, or your technical manager who doesn’t seem to be speaking your language, a consulting CIO can help you develop strategies and plans to ensure a reasonable ROI for your technology.