Why Would I Need a Virtual CIO?
Technology plays a role in nearly every company today. But, not every company can afford an experienced CIO to lead their technology. So, they are faced with spending too much money or contending with too little experience. A virtual or fractional CIO/CTO can fill this need.
The virtual CIO will be available a limited number of hours compared to a full-time employee. Therefore, they will not require benefits or incur taxes. This makes the concept more affordable for smaller companies. However, the virtual CIO is typically providing hours to other companies as well. Consider them a shared resource.
This allows companies to access highly skilled talent at a fraction of the cost.
Because the virtual CIO is not a full-time resource, their contributions will target higher value tasks and not day-to-day operations. They will set strategic direction, lead digital transformation, and define technology needs at an executive level. These are typical duties of a CIO. Managing resources and operations will remain the duty of a full-time resource of the company. Although, there is no one way to benefit from the skills of a virtual CIO.
Interim vs. Virtual
Any number of circumstances can put your company on the search for a new leader of technology. But, you cannot stop operating during the search.
A temporary (or interim), experienced CIO can “sit in the chair” until the new CIO arrives. This removes the pressure and reduces the risk of making a bad hiring decision.
A virtual CIO is hired on an on-going basis to bolster a technology staff. Although the skills may be similar, the term and engagement are different.
You Promoted the IT Director, Now What?
Experienced technology resources are good at solving problems – a tactical skill. A CIO needs to understand solving problems, but also what problems are most pressing for the business – a strategic skill. Not all people good at thinking tactically can evolve into strategic thinking.
For those that demonstrate the potential, the transition period may still be challenging. Maybe even disheartening at times. Nobody succeeds if a good employee becomes disengaged over time.
A virtual CIO can provide support and advice to smooth the transition. This can be structured as an advisor relationship or a partnership until the service is no longer warranted. The key is to create a connection for your newly appointed leader to grow into the role successfully.
The Peter Principle
The Peter Principle is a management concept published in 1969 by Laurence J. Peter. The theory states that the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role.
Thus, employees stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and “managers rise to the level of their incompetence.”
CoherenceForming around unification
Of course, you may be curious as to how technology can work better for you.
To begin, we should start a conversation.