With companies trying to reach their digital transformation goals, the role of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) has never been more crucial. However, the cost of hiring a full-time CIO can be prohibitively high for many businesses, particularly the small to mid-sized ones. This is where the concept of a hiring virtual CIO (vCIO) comes into play, offering a cost-effective and strategic solution for companies in need of such a vital role. Here are four reasons a business should consider hiring a virtual CIO instead of a full-time one.
What is a Virtual CIO?
First things first, a virtual CIO is an outsourced service provided by IT firms, functioning as an off-site CIO. Companies often engage a virtual CIO as a strategic replacement for an in-house IT expert or as an interim solution for growing businesses not yet ready to hire full-time talent. The responsibilities of a virtual CIO, similar to a CIO, are providing expert advice on technology, infrastructure, and management and enhancing the company’s productivity and effectiveness through optimized information strategies.
Reason 1: Cost Savings
Hiring a full-time CIO is a significant financial commitment, often out of reach for many businesses. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a CIO is $160,000 per year. And this doesn’t even include benefits. A vCIO, on the other hand, offers the same expertise at a fraction of the cost. This cost-effectiveness stems from the as-needed basis of the service, avoiding the hefty salaries, benefits, and other expenses tied to a full-time executive role.
Reason 2: Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is the heart of what a vCIO does. They work closely with your business and executive team to develop a tailored IT strategy that aligns with your business goals. This strategy involves managing current IT needs, forecasting future trends, and preparing the business to adapt and thrive. A CIO’s external perspective can be invaluable, providing insights that most internal teams might overlook.
Reason 3: Improved Risk Management
Let’s face it: the cybersecurity landscape is out of control, and the importance of robust IT risk management cannot be overstated. A vCIO brings specialized knowledge in cybersecurity and risk management, which is critical for protecting your business against ever-evolving threats and helping you prevent any costly incidents. Experts predict cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
Reason 4: Expert Advice When You Need It
Having access to expert advice on-demand is another significant advantage of a vCIO. Whether dealing with complex IT decisions, handling unexpected challenges, or exploring new technologies, a vCIO provides guidance when you need it most. This flexibility ensures that businesses are never left without expert support, a factor that can be the difference between thriving and merely surviving in a competitive market.
Transforming Businesses for Three Decades
For over 30 years, GB Tech has been at the forefront of providing vCIO and vCISO services to businesses. Our experience and expertise have helped countless companies optimize their IT strategies, manage risks effectively, and stay ahead of technological advancements. In choosing and hiring a virtual CIO, businesses gain access to top-tier IT leadership and embark on a journey toward sustainable growth and success in today’s business environment.