Small business leaders are increasingly seeing the value in collaborating with an IT Managed Services provider capable of guiding the C-suite through its technology planning process.
Commonly, the CFO works to ensure the IT function meets the needs of the business; however, the CFO has several other responsibilities and does not have time to become an IT expert. In response to this problem, leading IT Managed Service providers have begun offering the vCIO service (virtual chief information officer). Since many small businesses are evaluating vCIO services for the first time, it’s important to understand the 5 most important qualities a top provider of vCIO services will possess.
1. Ability to align technology with long-term business goals.
- Know upfront which contacts at your provider will be involved in vCIO engagements. It’s optimal when a “client-facing” engineer partners with an account manager that possesses a high business acumen.
2. Ability to convey best practices
- Technology evolves fast and it’s important to partner with a provider capable of providing best practice advice. Best practice topics can include backup disaster recovery, IT security and workflow management.
3. Industry expertise
- Each industry has its own compliance standards and commonly-used applications. Choosing a provider that’s familiar with your industry is very valuable.
4. Budget sensitivity
- Providers that understand your total annual IT budget can help you prioritize the projects that need immediate attention versus the nice-to-haves.
5. Strong partnerships
- No one is a master of all trades. It’s important to partner with a provider who’s built alliances with other consultants offering complimentary services.
The Walker Group is an IT Managed Service provider headquartered in Farmington, CT serving small and medium-sized organizations throughout CT. Feel free to contact us to learn more about vCIO.