More companies are outsourcing their Chief Information Officer (CIO) because it gives them a competitive advantage and experience they can’t otherwise afford. The CIO, in-house or outsourced, leads digital transformation projects and develops strategies that create innovative and income-generating opportunities throughout the company.
What Benefits Does An Outsourced CIO Offer?
Business leaders consider working with an outsourced CIO because they want a cost-effective way to grow and transform their businesses through the efficient use of technology. Hiring an outsourced CIO can offer the following benefits:
1. Faster Business Growth
Choosing the right CIO will have a positive impact on the growth of a company. Competent CIOs know how to create a detailed IT strategy that aligns with the business goals and needs. CIOs also lead the execution of the strategy and help an organization mature it’s IT operations.
2. Lower Operational Cost
Hiring an outsourced CIO saves the cost of hiring, training, and paying a full-time employee.
The outsourced CIO also works without getting distracted by traditional office politics. As an unbiased third party with a more focused approach, the CIO can deliver better results in a shorter time.
3. Use Of IT Innovations
Working with the latest and best IT tools and products enhances business performance. But keeping tabs on the most suitable IT solutions can be an arduous task.
This is where an outsourced CIO can be beneficial. They can discover and recommend the best solutions based on their experience and help your company take full advantage of them. Internal IT team members will also receive guidance on how to put these modern solutions to work.
4. Faster Implementation
When CIOs have strong industry experience, they can reproduce excellent results in similar businesses. It is like the results obtained when a top-rated major league baseball coach moves from one club to another. The new club is expected to improve its performance in the league.
That is why many leaders search for an experienced CIO who has worked in a similar company with a proven record of high performance.
5. Better Return On IT Investment
Technology boosts business performance. However, without the professional guidance of a CIO, the investment in IT may not deliver the expected returns.
Competent CIOs know how to set appropriate budgets and boundaries for IT spending without affecting productivity, and they can ensure that every dollar spent gives a good return.
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What Are The Primary Functions Of An Outsourced CIO?
To deliver the benefits listed above, CIOs carry out the following IT-related activities in an organization:
1. Clarification Of Business Goals To The IT Team
When the staff in an IT department do not fully grasp the goals and objectives of the business, it is the CIO that explains and clarifies them. To achieve this, CIOs have to:
- Break business objectives down into action plans and processes for the IT team
- Show the IT team how to remove the technical jargon used in their department and communicate in business terms to help users achieve business goals
- Encourage free flow of communication between the IT department and senior management.
2. Management Of Implementation Of Business Systems
If the investment in IT does not provide the expected return on investment, the CIO needs to analyze, redesign and implement new business processes. To boost the ROI on IT, the CIO may do the following:
- Analysis of existing business process, documentation, and implementation
- Assessment and review of various software options that can meet the needs of the company at the most affordable rate
- Elimination of unnecessary software subscriptions and replacement with application suites that are more efficient and cost-effective
- Development and implementation of integration software for more efficient data management and collaboration
- Recommendation of training programs to enable users to maximize their productivity with existing software tools
3. Integration Of IT Solutions
Without a comprehensive IT policy, many disparate systems will make it hard for data to flow from one department to another. Eventually, ineffective data silos will hinder the use of business intelligence and analytics tools. For this reason, the CIO needs to:
- Assess current work practices and data flows
- Discover bottlenecks and disparate systems that are hindering integration
- Develop a plan to integrate business processes
- Work with an integration expert or solution provider to create a suitable integration software solution for the company
4. Development Of Reliable And Failure Proof Systems
Frequent downtimes can ruin a business. The cost of business interruptions can run into thousands of dollars annually if a company’s IT infrastructure is poorly managed. That’s why chief information officers take time to:
- Review IT security policies and systems
- Conduct a security audit to identify security risks and vulnerabilities
- Setup and implement a reliable backup and recovery policy
- Schedule cyber security training for all IT users in the company
5. Protection Of The Business Against “Greedy” Consultants
A business without an experienced CIO can be held hostage by IT consultants and solution vendors. CIOs can prevent undue exploitation by:
- Ensuring that prices charged for IT services are competitive and reflect the actual work done to achieve desired results
- Monitoring deliverables to ensure that they meet all requirements and they align with current best practices
- Reviewing agreements to ensure that the consultants do not create the company by concealing vital information and project documentation
Hire An Outsourced Chief Information Officer Today
When it’s time to add a CIO to your organization, outsourcing the role is a strategic move that comes with many benefits. Hartman Executive Advisors offers middle-market companies and nonprofit organizations the opportunity to work with experienced CIOs on an outsourced basis to help companies leverage IT to achieve their business goals.