Can I Outsource a CIO?

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps: Small Business strategycybersecurityc-suite

It’s time to hire a CIO. Information (data) is central to your business performance and/or product development and revenues, and you need a leader to map out your strategy and implement it. Hiring a CIO is a huge step for a small business -- but maybe it doesn’t have to be. Can you outsource a CIO? Yes. CIO-for-hire, fractional CIO, or CIO-as-a-Service, whatever you call it, is a great option for a small business looking to get the leadership it needs to stay ahead of its competition, current with its customers, and dialed into its supply chain.

What Is A CIO-for-HIre or Fractional CIO?

A fractional CIO is a part-time professional with the leadership and experience to create plans and strategies for a company’s information needs. Information may include internal software applications, customer or vendor data, and integration of several different platforms. Once a business sees that the importance of technology has reached a level beyond the capabilities of its current leaders, a fractional CIO may be just the solution to leverage solutions and achieve those business goals.

Fractional CIO or Full-time CIO?

The best indicator that you’re ready to hire a full-time CIO is that you already have one by a different title. If you have a Software Systems Manager or Director who is managing different groups -- software, hardware, product -- then you likely already have a CIO. You might be ready to hire one with the right experience and credentials to take those teams to the next level, with a strategic focus.

Outside of that scenario, starting off with a fractional CIO instead of hiring a full-time position will likely make better financial sense. If your business has opportunities to leverage new solutions, is feeling pain from outdated systems, or has other leaders taking on the CIO role, then the timing is likely right to start off with a CIO-for-hire.

The Cons of Outsourcing the CIO Position:

  • A fractional CIO will likely be working with several businesses, which can lead to a perceived lack of focus or in-depth understanding of the business.
  • When it comes to very long-term planning -- say over five years out -- then a fractional CIO may not be around to see that through. But in reality, a full-time hire may also not be around that long.
  • A fractional CIO is an “outsider” and may not buy into the larger corporate culture or way of thinking.

The Pros Of Outsourcing The CIO Position:

  • A fractional CIO works with several businesses, building a unique and broad perspective on technology, including real-life use cases an in-house CIO may not have.
  • Long-term planning always begins with the near term. A fractional CIO can lay the groundwork, the launching pad, for long-term implementation plans. And technology changes so fast that looking too far into the future can cause missed opportunities.
  • A fractional CIO is an outsider who brings in new ways of thinking, new ideas, and diversity. New ideas -- isn’t that what technology and innovation are all about?
  • Cost savings in salary and benefits.
  • Your business can adapt quickly and adopt technology immediately, without the extended search, hiring, and onboarding of a new leader.
  • If security and protecting your company from cyberattacks is a fear, a part-time CIO can button up your information security quickly.

Yes, You Can Outsource A CIO

Making the decision to bring on a CIO is a big one. There’s a lot of expense involved in addition to the fact that anything “technology” can seem like a giant guess to many leadership teams. A great way to fill a new CIO position is with an outsourced CIO -- a fractional CIO.

Contact us to discuss how a fractional CIO can help your business leverage technology to get a step ahead of your competitors and offer the service level your customers demand.

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