A ”Virtual” Chief Information Officer (vCIO) provides recommendations on the best way to develop and implement an organization’s IT strategy. A vCIO works with the CEO and other executives to ensure that the company’s IT needs are being met and that its IT budget is being used efficiently. They also help maintain the IT strategy to aid the company in achieving its business goals.
There are many benefits that a vCIO can bring to a business. They can help the company save money on its IT budget, improve productivity, and address cybersecurity risks. A vCIO can also help the company avoid future problems by developing and implementing, with management’s approval, a proactive IT strategy.
What kind of companies choose to work with a vCIO?
Small to medium-size businesses that do not have the internal resources to support a full-time CIO are good candidates for working with a vCIO. These companies usually don’t have the budget to hire a full-time CIO, but they still need someone to help them with their IT strategy and planning.
How does a vCIO helps you plan a budget for your new IT purchases, ongoing IT management, and cybersecurity?
When you work with a vCIO, they will help you develop a budget for your IT needs. They will consider your business goals,the current state of your IT infrastructure, your company’s growth plans, and future needs. Based on this information, they will create a budget covering all your IT expenses.
Your vCIO will also help you manage your IT budget on an ongoing basis by:
- Tracking your IT expenses and make sure that you are staying within your budget.
- Finding ways to save money on your IT costs.
- Developing a cybersecurity strategy and plan.
- Implementing security measures to protect your data and systems.
When should you budget for a vCIO?
Knowing when to invest in vCIO advisory services can be difficult. Here are some guidelines that will help you know when it’s the right time.
- You need to know how IT cost and capacity are going to impact your pro-growth plans.
- You need help developing and implementing an IT strategy.
- You need help managing your IT budget.
- You need help with your cybersecurity needs.
- You need to know how to align people, processes, and technology.
How much does a vCIO cost?
The cost of a vCIO varies depending on the scope of work within your business. But, even when factoring in the cost of the vCIO, you can budget cost-effectively. A vCIO can help you save money on your IT budget, improve workflows, and make sure that your IT is optimized to handle today’s work and tomorrow’s challenges.
List of items for a typical business technology budget
1. Software – new software licenses that you will need to purchase, as well as the cost of renewing any existing software licenses
2. Hardware – new hardware that you will need to purchase and the cost of upgrading any existing hardware
3. Maintenance – maintaining your existing IT infrastructure, as well as the cost of upgrading to new versions of software or hardware
4. Management and Support – support services you will need to purchase to keep your IT infrastructure running smoothly
5. Training – training your employees on how to use new software or hardware
6. Cloud Resources – cloud-based applications, storage, or infrastructure you use in daily workflow
7. Cybersecurity – cybersecurity products or services you will need to purchase to protect your data and systems
8. Cybersecurity Awareness Training – training your employees on how to stay safe online and how to avoid phishing scams and other cybersecurity threats
9. vCIO – the cost of working with a virtual Chief Information Officer
After you have gathered all the necessary information, you can begin to develop a budget that covers all of your IT expenses. Your vCIO can help you with this process and make sure that you are staying within your budget.
When developing your budget, you should also consider the future needs of your business.
- As your business grows, you will need to:
- Purchase additional software licenses, hardware, and maintenance
- Upgrade your IT infrastructure to accommodate increased demand
- Hire additional support staff or outsource support services
- Purchase new cybersecurity products or services
- Train new employees on how to use your IT systems
- Expand your use of cloud resources
- Continue to provide cybersecurity awareness training to your employees
- Provision new employees with new computers and cloud-asset access
Your vCIO will help you manage your IT budget on an ongoing basis. They will track your IT expenses and make sure that you are staying within your budget. They will also help you find ways to save money on your IT costs.
What’s new in IT budgeting for 2023?
1. The rise of the vCIO – The virtual Chief Information Officer is becoming a popular option for businesses of all sizes that want executive-level IT input without the high cost of hiring a C-suite IT employee.
2. The continued growth of the cloud – Cloud-based applications, storage, and infrastructure are becoming more popular each year. As the cost of these services continues to decrease, they will become an increasingly important part of your IT budget.
3. The need for cybersecurity – With the continued growth of cyberattacks, cybersecurity is becoming a top priority for businesses.
4. The importance of employee training – As new technologies are introduced, you must train your employees on how to use them.
5. The rise of artificial intelligence – Artificial intelligence is becoming more important in the business world. As AI becomes more sophisticated, it will be used for tasks such as, data analysis, customer service, and marketing. Include AI in your IT budget to keep up with the competition.
The cost of IT can be a significant expense for businesses. However, by working with a vCIO and carefully planning your budget, you can manage your IT costs without breaking the bank. Keep an eye on new trends, such as the rise of artificial intelligence, and be sure to include them in your budget planning so that you can stay ahead of the curve.
Need some executive-level IT insight for your business technology budgeting? Contact our team to begin a no-obligation conversation. We can help!