4 MIN READ | MANAGED IT SERVICES
What is a vCIO? As a company who provides vCIO services, we get asked this question all the time, so, we decided to write about it in the hope of helping others with similar questions. This article will breakdown the meaning and the various functions a vCIO serves to businesses, including a salary range for such a position.
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What is a vCIO?
vCIO are the initials of a job function that stands for virtual Chief Information Officer. Like a CIO in a large company, a vCIO is responsible for the strategic planning and overall management of a company's information technology systems and network. This means that a vCIO makes recommendations to a business' executive team on important developments in cyber law and threats, as well as which technology policies, hardware, and software to adopt company-wide toward the goal of supporting the company's overall strategy.
The difference between a vCIO and a CIO is that a vCIO is not physically on-site within a business in a day-to-day capacity. This is typically because vCIO are commonly implemented in larger, managed IT services companies who provide a virtual CIO as a service to their clients.
What Does a vCIO Do?
To elaborate on the definition above, I've provided a list of responsibilities that may be assigned to a vCIO when assisting the clients of a managed services provider.
Manage Technology Relationships
This is another way to say, "manage vendor relationships." Nearly all companies have technology vendors, whether it is a spam filtering service, ant-virus program, or dealing with a local hardware provider who exchanges old computers for new ones every three years. A vCIO manages these accounts so that you have the peace-of-mind knowing that they are being maintained and kept current.
One of the greatest benefits to having a vCIO is the ability to stay current on the best technology trends that will keep your business objectives at the forefront of efficiency. Technology is constantly changing, and it's impossible for a part-time IT specialist or business owner to keep up with all of it. vCIOs even have an advantage over companies with a handful of IT specialists because managed services teams are larger than the average small and medium sized business' IT staff. The more minds to contribute to new discoveries, the more efficient your team becomes.
Technology Business Reviews
A technology business review, or network security audit, is an analysis of your technology and network strengths and weaknesses. This exposes any gaps you may have that are creating vulnerabilities toward outside threats, and offers recommendations to minimize or eliminate those risks.
If your business lacks a true in-house IT specialist, then it needs a knowledgeable person who understands technology at a comprehensive level to manage the installation and execution of various technology improvement efforts. This may also include the training of existing employees on knew forms of technology that are being introduced to the company.
What Does a vCIO Get Paid?
To a business owner employing a managed IT services provider? Nothing.
But you're not really asking what a vCIO gets paid. You're asking what a CIO gets paid.
According to payscale.com the salary range for Chief Information Officer is between $91,000 to over $247,000, with an average of $155,000. Managed IT services pricing can range from $100-$150 per user per month, and that includes an entire team of IT specialists, and in some cases, a vCIO.
There are certainly advantages to having your own CIO in-house, but unless you have the free capital to make such an investment, your option is most likely to find a managed services provider that has a dedicated person to meet these responsibilities.
A CIO is a valuable addition to any company, but as I mentioned before, it isn't affordable for every company. Depending on who you choose to be your service provider, a vCIO might be an affordable alternative that offers very comparable (and in some instances, better) support for your business.
Regardless of the decision you ultimately make about your technology needs, making sure you network is secured needs to be at the top of that list. We help clients and prospective clients every day by consulting with their existing IT specialists or executive team to help them determine the best path to move forward and ensure their businesses remain up and running for years to come.
Posted by Daniel Gray
Daniel has a passion for educating and helping people and has spent over a decade in the education and office technology industries. He has a Bachelor's in Education from the University of West Georgia and an MBA from the University of Georgia. Daniel has been the lead blogger at SOS since 2017 and specializes in managed IT services, copiers and printers, and business phone systems. He lives in Atlanta and has a goofy greyhound named Ticker.LinkedIn