Outsourced IT – Why You Need to Consider an Outsourced CIO
Outsourced IT has come from the ever growing demand for off-site, qualified management of enterprise’s IT needs. With the introduction of more and more off-site and home-based offices, business owners are wising-up to the benefits of not requiring overheads, fixed hours and permanent, designated staff.
The IT sector has seen the biggest leap: however, to understand why outsourcing a CIO may be advantageous to you, it is best we start by understanding both the terminologies, as well as the roles and responsibilities associated with being one.
What is a CIO?
You might be surprised – as would most of the general populous – to discover that the role of CIO has been around since the late 1980’s. The advent of the innovation of the PC (debuted in the 1930’s) saw an immediate gap in the market for the control and management of data.
We’re so accustomed to hearing about CFO’s, CEO’s, even COO’s, but what exactly is a CIO and what does he or she do on a daily basis? A quick Google search reveals that a CIO – or Chief Information Officer – is “an executive job title commonly given to the person at an enterprise in charge of information technology (IT) strategy and the computer systems required to support an enterprise’s objectives and goals.”
All fair and well, but what do they do in a regular workday? Just as it is impossible to outline the roles and responsibilities of a CFO or CEO, it is equally impossible to do so for a CIO.
“Back in the day”, the role of CIO was primarily a technical job; nowadays, with the growth of the functionality of computers and growing awareness of data safety – the role has grown to encompass educating executive management and employees on the business value and risk IT systems hold for an enterprise. A CIO would typically oversee a team of specialists for specific IT tasks, and have a deputy IT manager oversee (more closely) the functionality of either their own enterprise – or that of their clients. Not only do CIO’s need to be reactive, they require a high level of pro-activeness in their daily responsibilities. Pre-empting possible cyber-attacks, preventing heinous backlogs that could cause far-reaching issues – all bundled neatly along with the ability to oversee a high paced environment with a team of individuals who are under considerably high stress is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to defining a CIO’s role.
What does it take to be a great CIO?
- Flawless execution strategy
- Strategic and tactical thinking
- Forward thinking
- Great team leader
- Knowledge of current systems
- An understanding that the IT sector does not sleep – dedication to show up whenever necessary to prevent disastrous situations
Why Does Your Company Need a CIO?
Understanding the “age” we are in – the age of instant gratification, constant online presence and the need to always be one step ahead of our competitors lends a keen insight into knowing the value of a CIO.
You hire a qualified individual – who studied for an average of close on 5 years to earn his or her rank as CFO – in charge of your finances. You have a COO overseeing your day-to-day activities, someone who has likely been with the business for eons in order to earn that rank and understanding of your daily operational requirements, or perhaps has studied management of the specific field you’re in.
Why would you not have someone in charge and closely overseeing your daily IT requirements, as well as long-term strategies? Someone who will ensure that your business is, at no stage, under any threat of the compromising of sensitive data? A trained individual who will monitor your monthly IT budget, manage all related projects, analyse customer engagement, strategize your offerings and basically give your company the upper hand?
The answer is usually one word; money. Any company, whether small, medium, or corporate, usually has some form of financial restrictions imposed to save the company money which is not necessarily deemed necessary.
What we like to do is encourage our clients to determine the cost (both financial, time and setback) of a worst-case scenario – possible with the absence of a CIO. How badly would your business be set back if you were to fall victim to a ransom ware attack?
This article by Forbes outlines the latest malware to hit our screens – a (possibly) worse attack than the notorious WannaCry, which targeted in excess of 200 000 users in its first day. The latest ransom ware – namely Petya – is set to the far worse than it’s WannaCry predecessor. Circling back to our initial suggestion – how much time, effort, money, human resource and a general major setback would it cause you and your company if something similar were to affect you? Those client files, dating back to 1999 are all encrypted; you have a deadline looming, which you simply cannot work on because – well – there are no workable files. The knock-on effect this can have on any company is almost unimaginable.
If you fall into the school of thought which stands firm in the belief that IT is the least necessary department, and an executive to oversee said department is a luxury afforded to few – we would like to challenge you to reassess your stance. It is easy to liken the addition of a CIO to that of taking out insurance – it is undoubtedly a grudge purchase – but in the event of something going wrong – you have provided yourself with an inedible catch net to prevent disaster.
Hiring a CIO need not cost you a fortune; instead of option got take on a full-time executive, did you know there is an easy way to procure this type of talent and not even need to screen the candidate yourself?
Ahh, the beauty of the modern age. An outsourced CIO will lend years of expertise, wisdom and knowledge to his or her role, at a fraction of the cost. They have already set up their teams, or can make use of your own already-standing IT department, to maximise your growth and drastically cut potential threats.
If you are interested in outsourcing your CIO, why not get in touch? Your risk/ reward ratio is undeniably in your favour when outsourcing into a one-stop IT package. Allow us to make your life better in ways you have never imagined.