A chief information officer (CIO) is the most senior executive in a company’s technology department and a critical enabler of innovation. They’re mainly concerned with helping align an organization’s operational goals with modern technology solutions. In that respect, a CIO serves as an interface between the IT department and the rest of the business.
CIOs are different from IT directors, in that their job descriptions focus on the bigger picture. Whereas IT directors usually focus on day-to-day operations, CIOs are more concerned with business strategy and leadership from a technology standpoint.
With today’s businesses being so reliant on technology, having the right expertise on your side is no longer just an option — it’s an absolute necessity. A CIO is both a technology and business leader rolled into one. Given their extensive expertise in both disciplines, it’s hardly surprising they command salaries in the region of $165,000.
Fortunately, for smaller companies, there’s the option of outsourcing the role to a technology consulting firm. Also known as a virtual CIO, or vCIO, these contractors or companies are available on-demand to provide the main benefits of having a CIO without the prohibitively high costs. Here are three reasons why you need a CIO:
#1. Stay current with ongoing technology guidance
If you’ve ever heard the term “disruptive technology,” then you probably already know just how quickly trends can change in the world of IT. What was touted as the latest and greatest solution a year ago is often considered outdated today. At the same time, just because something’s new doesn’t mean it will help your business.
A CIO has a vested interest in business success. Rather than have you chasing after the latest fads that add no value to your business, a CIO takes a hands-on approach towards the constantly evolving technology environment to identify risks and opportunities alike.
This allows you to tap into new opportunities much quicker and add value to the whole business without having to worry about misaligned technology solutions. A CIO is a consultant first and foremost, who has the business management skills to help you make the most out of modern technology without increasing risk.
#2. Bring technology closer to your workforce
Almost everything to do with technology has long been considered the responsibility of the IT department. In a more traditional environment, end users and even managers of different departments have little or no influence over the technology decisions a business takes, which invariably leads to misalignment and information silos that cripple performance.
A CIO brings technology closer to everyone else in the organization by building relationships across branches and departments and garnering a deeper understanding of the challenges and needs they face. In other words, they “humanize” technology by taking it beyond the IT department and educating others about its implications.
By bringing technology closer to the workforce, CIOs can bring home the challenges of critical operations like information security and compliance. This drives a culture of innovation and accountability in which technology enables better productivity, workforce mobility, and everything else that makes a modern business successful.
#3. Overcome operational issues with greater scalability
There’s more than enough digital work for everyone. In fact, there’s often too much to handle, which is why there are many unfilled positions in areas like information security around the world. At the same time, the growing reliance on technology has led to a rise of many new job titles such as chief data officer, chief information security officer, and chief digital officer.
A CIO provides the expert guidance today’s organizations need to become more adaptable to change. They can help businesses overcome the burden that comes with increased demand on existing IT systems by selecting and maintaining more scalable solutions. With a vCIO, you have that guidance available on demand as well.
Safebit Solutions offers virtual CIO services that link IT systems with business objectives. Call us today to get your very own tech consultant and enjoy a host of benefits.