The Increasing Importance of vCIO
Small businesses are choosing IT providers who have a dedicated vCIO role, due to their improved ability to collaborate on strategic technology initiatives.
The vCIO role is difficult to execute, but when done properly, can greatly enhance a small business’s efforts towards its goals.
Pressure is being put on solo IT consultants and break-fix IT providers to understand the business impact of technology and transition to a more proactive support model.
Among my primary initiatives at Raxxos has been to re-define our relationship with our clients. For us to not merely be their IT provider, and for them to not merely be our client. We intend for every client relationship to be a true partnership.
One of the ways we have done this is by having a dedicated vCIO (virtual Chief Information Officer) role for our managed clients. A CIO is a senior executive in an enterprise who works with information technology and computer systems, to support enterprise goals. Therefore, a vCIO is an external CIO who works closely with the internal executive team to align their information technology and computer systems support enterprise goals.
Solo IT consultants and break-fix IT providers are feeling the pressure to provide strategic business initiatives around technology. This is difficult to embrace if they do not have sufficient leadership and business experience, or training in the vCIO role, or resources to dedicate a person to this role.
We have in the past, and continue to invest heavily in educating our entire team on the business importance of our IT support and projects, as well as specialized education for our dedicated vCIO role. We engage in industry-proven training programs and ongoing coaching for our team. I feel this is incredibly important, as the entire IT team needs to be able to fully understand technology and business, to relate them to each other, and align our IT initiatives with our client’s business goals.
Here are some words from Christopher Martin, Raxxos’ dedicated vCIO: “We believe collaboration is fundamental to building a corporate-wide shared digital strategy, and want to be aligned with your business’ objectives, so we can use technology to advance your goals. As well, we want to build a culture of engagement within our IT department, so our technicians understand the business outcomes you are trying to achieve while working on your IT projects.”
My favourite phrase that Christopher uses is “to be aligned”. We must ensure, that at all times, we are aligned with our clients’ goals, that we are all rowing in the same direction. If we are rowing in different directions, the boat goes nowhere. That is why the vCIO role is so important, to align our IT support efforts with our clients’ business goals and grow together.