The birth of cloud-based managed IT services has changed the role of the Chief Information Officer drastically. It was only a decade ago that the CIO was responsible for the on-premise IT infrastructure and all systems and services. From email to managing the internal print and file servers to managing data storage and user access, the CIO had the final say on all decisions relative to IT infrastructure and had budgetary control overall expenditures. In this blog, Apex Technology discusses how the CIO role has evolved in the era of managed IT services and how cost-effective it is to outsource the role rather than maintain an on-premise IT lead.
The New CIO is A Hybrid of a Technology Expert and Business Professional
In the past, information technology expenditures were treated as capital expenditures. It was necessary under this approach to manage the department on a budgetary level in order to balance the long-term investments on services, computers, phone systems, software licenses, and other technology investments. As companies have shifted all of these services and management of these systems to 3rd party service providers, IT expenses have become operational expenses and managed as monthly and annual controllable costs. The CIO role, as a result, must not only have a deep understanding of the necessary technologies needed to execute the organization’s vision, but also have the necessary level of business savvy to navigate contract negotiation and budget management for long-term profitability.
CIO as Strategist
Success in the modern economic landscape requires an organization to be extremely agile around technology relative to marketing and customer relationship management. Because they have extensive knowledge of modern technologies and the ability to navigate the organization’s financial reach, CIO’s are perfectly situated in the c-suite hierarchy to act as a primary influencer of the organization’s strategic approach to achieving organizational goals.
CIO as Technology Advocate
Chief Information Officers work with other departments to meet the organization’s goals through technological innovation. They decide which modern technology tools should be adopted and which services and software solutions support those tools. In the past, they would implement these solutions themselves, but in modern business settings where IT solutions have been outsourced, the CIO will work with service providers to create service level agreements that support the organizational needs without placing too much of a burden on the organization itself.
You Need a CIO – But Do You Need to Hire One or Outsource the Role to Your Managed IT Service?
In the past when the entirety of the IT infrastructure was on-premise, it made sense for organizations to hire and retain an in-house CIO. In an age where much of the IT infrastructure is managed by third-party service providers, it also makes sense for organizations to outsource the CIO position:
- Reduced personnel costs, as contracting out the role of the CIO replaces salary with a less expensive contracted rate, and eliminates health benefit costs, pensions, training, and other human resource-related costs.
- Outsourcing provides access to a scalable pool of talent from across the globe, and you can choose a CIO with a specific skill set that supports current goals and technology needs, and then swap them out for a more strategic-minded individual once those goals have been achieved.
- Outsourcing provides a balance of price versus quality, and it places that talent on-demand.
- The benefits of improved process and efficient operations keep your organization competitive, and because an outsourced CIO is in the position to ensure profitability, they are freer to work through roadblocks and bottlenecks to improve the organization’s technical stance.
- Outsourced CIO’s are just as invested in the future success of your organization as your organization’s leadership, as the business relationship depends on protecting the business’s long term profitability.
Apex Technology’s vCIO Is Just What Your Organization Needs
The role of the CIO can clearly be outsourced, but it’s important when exploring your options that you understand the benefits potential third-party service providers are providing. At Apex Technology, we provide small businesses across Charlotte with a full range of IT services, key amongst them a full suite of services falling within the purview of your dedicated virtually-based CIO. Our expert technologist will help your organization plan and consult with other IT providers for services you require, help establish a proper technology budget, manage business relationships, and identify and manage business risks within the technology spectrum. To explore the various levels of IT support on offer to our clients, make an appointment with our team to discuss services ranging from software development to IT security and beyond.