Any good consultant working with small and medium sized businesses strives to become an integral part of the way that business operates. For IT consultants, it is a long road that usually begins with fixing problems and maintaining the status quo. Good IT consultants look for ways to add value by recommending solutions to improve processes and help reduce the time it takes employees to complete a task. Eventually, a great consultant can prove not only the value of their services but also the value of IT to the business. The process of building that relationship and trust is long and hard fought, but in the end provides a great benefit to both the business and the consultant.
The stages an IT consultant goes through in a relationship with its client is not unlike the path one might take to become the CIO or Chief Information Officer of a large company. So if a consultant is like a CIO why doesn’t every small and medium business have a CIO? Well, because it’s not cost effective for most smaller businesses to have one. The amount and complexity of work a CIO would do for most smaller businesses would not be sufficient to keep them busy full time.
A part time CIO or virtual CIO, as they might be called, could be just the solution. A virtual CIO takes a cue from virtual machines, which allows a single server to do the job of many servers. A virtual CIO is a person or a group of persons who divide their time performing the duties of a CIO for more than one business. Isn’t that just a consultant, you might ask? Yes, but a virtual CIO is also much more. A virtual CIO works closely with management on a regular basis to determine ways to improve productivity. A virtual CIO helps management develop strategic plans for using IT in the future to support business growth. A virtual CIO helps build a budget for maintaining and upgrading systems as they age and need to be replaced. This kind of strategic planning helps business manage cost and mitigate the potential loss of time and money that occurs when employees use outdated computers that are slow and are also more prone to failure as they age.
The average consultant or even IT administrator isn’t generally equipped to perform these duties. The average consultant is good at managing projects and finding solutions for problems already identified by a client’s management team. IT administrators tend to have their hands full managing the day to day operations of a network. The virtual CIO bridges the gap between consultants and management while still providing the technical skills and knowledge to plan the implementation of a solution, like an IT administrator. Jacobs & Company B.I.T.S. Managed Services is a first step in developing the kind of high visibility relationship needed to allow us to become your virtual CIO. Jacobs and Company B.I.T.S. has both the business acumen and IT skills to provide you, our clients, with virtual CIO services today to help your business continue to grow through the strategic use of IT in your business.