By Robert Wynkoop PMP
CIO – or Chief Information Officer is not a new term in the business lexicon. They’ve existed in enterprise IT for decades now – providing that right mix of strategic guidance and technical know-how to advise C-level executives on major decisions related to technology and information management.
Today’s small business profile has left its humble roots of manual cash registers and order pads and is growing increasingly more intertwined with technology. The disruptive force that technology is having in the small business sector is amazing.
Take for example, the ability to process credit card transactions on your smartphone. Just that one little change has dramatically improved the revenues of tiny startups on their quest toward becoming bigger businesses. Small businesses are now able to leverage software like Quickbooks Online for a couple of bucks a month with features that used to only be available by spending tens of thousands of dollars on integrated accounting software running on self-hosted servers.
It’s something to really admire in my opinion!
The increase of technology in the small business sector though also means business owners and leaders must make choices on how to spend their budgets and lead their companies.
With so many new releases of products, software and even business processes – how do you make sense of it all?
You find YOUR vCIO or Virtual CIO.
Now I kind of despise the “virtual” moniker because a true vCIO will be a very present person working in and on your business. He or she is a contracted CIO to you and a handful of other select clients only.
Your vCIO is your best tool for strategic planning regarding technology. Because vCIOs get to work in and on other businesses, they often have great exposure to new technologies or have seen instances where things are working well and may be able to help implement those changes into your technology road map.
This enables your vCIO to be a force-multiplier in your organization. In the military, we say things like a heavy machine guns and tanks are force multipliers – they give us the tactical advantage over our opponent. A squad reinforced with a heavy machine gun can take on much more than the squad alone.
The chaos of today’s business environment requires calling in some heavy guns to sort out all the chatter and make sharp decisions about your business’s technology roadmap. With a trusted advisor in your back pocket, you can make informed decisions that fit in with your overall technology strategic plan. And if you don’t have one of those yet, don’t worry your vCIO can help!
Who can benefit from vCIO Services?
Our vCIO services provide innovative solutions to a variety of types of organizations and small businesses. If you have an internal IT staff, your vCIO can take your existing team to the next level in your network’s development whether that means implementing more robust change management or security controls or help with user training and education or even selecting new software or hardware.
If your business doesn’t have any information technology resources and you have no defined technology strategy, your vCIO can assist with finding the correct vendor partners for your line of business. In short, it really doesn’t matter which stage of technology maturation your business is at a vCIO can shorten the path to leveraging technology to achieve growth targets.
About the Author: Robert Wynkoop is the founder of Patriot Technology – a Nashville-based Cyber Security and Technology firm. He is a 16-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as a Cyber Officer. Patriot Technology is a SBA-verified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business specializing in Information Technology consulting and Cyber Security Services