The CTO & vCIO's Role

The digital sphere in which we live currently allows for outsourcing in different aspects of business operations. This is beneficial to both large corporations and small businesses alike. One important service that can be easily outsourced is the Virtual Chief Technology Officer, who is essentially an external IT leader with a mission to ensure the IT systems of the enterprise are functioning optimally.

Every organization has unique goals and objectives whose attainment is important for long term growth and productivity. The IT department is often a vehicle through which many of these goals and objectives can be accomplished since it enables communication in diverse areas. It therefore becomes the job of the Virtual CTO to merge the company’s goals with high tech tools that will help it gain market advantages in a cost efficient manner. As a consultant, Virtual CTOs work hard to bring innovation through research of new technological trends and applications that can help in promoting the agenda of any corporation.

Who Needs a Virtual CTO?

The importance of a CTO for a business cannot be over emphasized and no matter the size of an enterprise, having someone skilled in IT related tasks is efficient. In many cases, smaller organizations find it difficult to afford the services of a full time, on-site CTO. This is when a Virtual CTO can play a large factor. Large corporations can also benefit from the know how of a Virtual CTO. Even with an in-house IT manager, a company may find it challenging to adapt to new technologies, incorporating them to ensure growth in the long term. Adaptability is a trait that enterprises must have in their arsenal in this age of changing technologies, and this why it can be important to have a Virtual CTO on call.

Equally, permanent CTO’s simply may not be efficient for the business. Keeping an establishment CTO on payroll while large-scale transformative initiatives typically occur across many months or years, with the actual work being performed by lower paid resources, can lay a heavy marker on the budget. This can ultimately lead to IT related issues and even operational slowdowns if funds are unavailable when needed. This risk calls into question the need to effectively keep a salaried CTO on standby, when the expertise and guidance of a Virtual CTO can be had only when the skills are actually needed.

Additionally, the Virtual CTO gives value to a company because in order to get recommendations from clients, he/she must be among the best in the business and able to show a track record of success. Staying ahead of new technologies is one skill that makes the Virtual CTO great at their jobs and therefore an asset to both big and small businesses.

Responsibilities of a Virtual CTO

A savvy Virtual CTO is responsible for the communication strategy of the company. This is outlined from a study of the enterprise’s goals and objectives in order to apply the best approach that enables growth and productivity. This cannot be attained without knowledge of new trends and regulations on software, network infrastructure and more. As a consultant, the Virtual CTO is always learning about effective applications of technology in enhancing business operations which makes employing one beneficial to the enterprise.

Moreover, the Virtual CTO participates in the enterprise’s decision making, especially with regards to solutions on growth and development. Capturing a broader market is the intention of every enterprise, and with a competent Virtual CTO, this goal can be achieved. With knowledge of technological tools that can move a business forward, the Virtual CTO can therefore train other personnel to effectively use these tools profitably.

Although many corporations see a Virtual CTO only from the position of cost efficiency, this individual brings value to the company because of the level of expertise and continuous evolution that comes with the role. Their grasp of IT infrastructure, policies, implementation of procedures, along with insight into emerging trends, makes them valuable assets to all organizations no matter the size.