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Virtual CIO: What Does it Mean?

A CIO smiles at her coworker. Chief Information Officers can also be remote, a vCIO.As the pandemic hit in 2020, companies worldwide reported a staggering 17% increase in cyberattacks. Alongside increasing in volume were episodes of data loss, ransomware, and malware, each growing in severity. And, as firms become increasingly reliant on data and tech, it does not come as a surprise that 60% of companies affected by a cyberattack stop operating within six months.

A Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) is the professional figure that audits your firm’s tech infrastructure and aims to create a robust cybersecurity strategy. Let’s look at who vCIOs are, what they do, and how they can help your company in this VisiCom guide.

Who Are Virtual Chief Information Officers (vCIOs)?

In brief, Virtual Chief Information Officers - most commonly known as vCIOs - are highly experienced IT managers and executives. They often collaborate with multiple companies and work as consultants or part-time bases. 

Their main task is to audit the firm’s IT risks and efficiencies, identify cybersecurity threats, review processes, and operations, and ensure that the whole company is compliant with the latest requirements and regulations. Every three in four companies deemed cybersecurity a top priority in 2020 - yet only around 40% of small-to-medium businesses have implemented a cybersecurity policy

Whether this happens because of a restricted IT budget, reduced funds, or a lack of resources, partnering with a vCIO might mitigate the risk by:

  • Representing the decision-making authority
  • Take on technology deployment responsibilities
  • Align business goals and IT strategies
  • Work towards a digital transformation without an in-house IT team

What Does a Virtual CIO Do?

As a skilled and versatile IT professional, a vCIO will take on diverse tasks within a company to meet the organization’s specific needs. In particular, the vCIO advisory might include:

  • A review of your network security
  • A revision of internal procedures to align them with cybersecurity goals
  • Formulation of ad hoc long-term and short-term IT goals
  • Maintain security as you transition to a hybrid work model
  • Facilitating changes in technology and the digital transformation process
  • Planning the company’s IT budget
  • Ensure that the company is up-to-date with cybersecurity requirements
  • Maintain the company’s IT infrastructure safe, updates, and secure

Depending on your company’s specific needs, a vCIO might also provide long-term strategic services. For example, the vCIO can help set the company’s IT mission, identify opportunities, drive innovation, and enhance its profitability. 

Benefits of Partnering With a Virtual CIO

The economic market is changing rapidly, as are the needs of companies. So, a partnership with a relatively-new professional figure such as a vCIO is something to be excited about. Some of the benefits that might come from this partnership include:

  • Define or review your technology budget
  • Partnering with a more dynamic figure that is always up to date with the latest security protocols
  • A team of talents is looking after every need of your company’s IT infrastructure
  • Reduced costs - especially when compared to full-salaried in-house professionals
  • Improved IT department productivity
  • Streamlined process and compliance
  • Prompt response to the latest changes and possible threats to a company's safety
  • Versatility and flexibility
  • Alignment of business and IT goals

Ultimately, vCIOs are highly versatile figures that exist to create a bulletproof protective shell around your business. Consider a consultation today to discover what these professionals can do for you. 

Use Trusted vCIO Services for Your Company’s Information Management Needs

Expert technology management will streamline many of your company’s operational processes. When you have an external service provider handle your information management needs through a Virtual Chief Information Officer, you can focus on the aspects of your business that make you a leader in your industry. VisiCom Services provides vCIO services, cybersecurity protection, and more. Our seasoned professionals have the training and experience to lead your information management with fidelity. Give our team a call today to discuss your needs.

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