What the heck is a Fractional CIO and why would I want one

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)

Text of What the heck is a Fractional CIO and why would I want one

What the heck is a virtual CIO and why would I want one

What the heck is a Fractional CIO and why would I want oneDiscussion on how experienced, late career IT executives create value and drive success with technology in Small and Medium businesses8/22/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved

What are the IT issues that SMBs face todayWhat do we hear from SMB leadersBottom lineWhat is a Virtual (or Fractional) CIOWhat does the Virtual / Fractional CIO doWhy would smaller and medium sized businesses engage a Virtual / Fractional CIOHow to find, select and engage with a Fractional CIOContents8/22/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


Information Technology affects SMBs today in similar fashion to how they affected large organizations a decade ago:Customer interactions occur though mobile devices and through the web as much or more than via telemarketing and direct salesSupply chain partners push companies to electronically integrate, eliminating paper, shorting cash to cash cycles and driving the move to lean processes Social Media is becoming the dominate marketing communication mechanism and the place where there are high risks of negative reviewsRegulatory reporting and compliance requirements drive significant overhead into operations Internal processes require automation to match the speed, coordination and lean performance required by the competitive cost environment

What are the IT issues that SMBs face today8/23/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


Technology options get broader and more complex daily:Cloud and SaaS (Software as a service) offerings provide potentially low entry costs for sophisticated technologiesLower end systems become more sophisticated, rivaling long-lived market leadersIntegration of piece-parts has gotten only marginally easier requiring specialists to hook the puzzle pieces togetherSupport for all these capabilities, social, mobile, big data, back office systems, cloud and SaaS capabilities requires the management and coordination of multiple vendors, service providers, with complex contract and service level agreementsIn-house IT people are generally junior, more technically focused and inexperienced in managing these environments

What are the IT issues that SMBs face today8/23/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


For us to continue to grow we need to move to more sophisticated systems but there are so many options and they are so expensive to buy and maintainGolly I talk to our IT guy / provider, they are telling me that we need to upgrade our systems but I dont understand those folks and have trouble seeing the business value in their proposalsWe have so many different systems that our management has acquired but they dont hook together and we never get reports that matchAll of these cloud-based systems are easy to get started with but as our use grows the costs go up and its getting out of controlThere are a bunch of new regulations and compliance requirements coming out and weve got to get ready but we dont have the expertiseAnd so on and so onWhat do we hear from SMB leaders8/23/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


As IT services become more critical to SMBs and the market gets more confusing, the more leaders in SMBs need a trusted advisor to partner with them:In evaluating opportunities, Helping them do the proper job of sourcing solutions,Advise them on how to successfully implement technologies and systemsCouncil them in how to assure that business benefits are realizedTake direct leadership responsibility where the organization is lacking in capacity or leadership abilityBottom Line8/31/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


From Tech Republic and IT research and publishing firmThe vCIO collaborates with and advises clients' IT departments and performs the same functions as a conventional CIO. Those duties include formulating strategic IT goals, planning the IT budget, analyzing and reworking business processes and facilitating technology changes. The vCIO can help customers maintain their IT infrastructure -- keeping the lights on -- but can also provide more-forward looking services. For example, a vCIO can work with customers to plan a technology roadmap, identify opportunities to use new technology tools. If a client lacks an internal IT department or has a very limited IT staff, the client may grant wider decision-making authority and technology deployment responsibilities to the vCIO. The main difference between the vCIO function and other technical advisory services is that the vCIO takes a broader view of the client, focusing on business and IT alignment.From Wikipedia quoting from PC magazineAccording to PC Magazine,[1] the Chief Information Officer, or CIO, is defined as the executive officer in charge of information processing in an organization. All systems design, development and datacenter operations fall under CIO jurisdiction. CIOs have demanding jobs as information systems in an organization are often taken for granted until something breaks down. The CIO is responsible for explaining to executive management the complex nightmare this industry has gotten itself into over the past 40 years and why equipment must be constantly retrofitted or replaced. Justifying new expenditures can be a difficult part of the job.

What is a Virtual / Fractional CIO8/22/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


Fractional CIO's differ from traditional CIO's in that they serve as a working member of a company's executive management team as a contractor and may-or-may-not serve on the company's board of directors.A Fractional CIO, also known as a Part-Time CIO, Parachute CIO, or CIO on-demand is an experienced, multi-faceted professional who serves as the part-time chief information officer of a small or medium-sized business that otherwise could not afford or would not need a full-time executive to hold the position of chief information officer. A Virtual CIO or vCIO may have a similar role but the term virtual suggests that the individual is not present in the organization on the same basis as an employed executive. An Interim CIO is generally retained for a limited time period, often to oversee a specific project or to cover an interregnum. As with traditional CIO's, a Fractional CIO often helps with Technology Roadmaps, Business Process Improvements, and Business Technology Strategy.

The key business benefit of retaining a Fractional CIO is that they provide the same expertise and capability of a full-time CIO without the associated level of overhead and benefits associated with adding another top level executive. Care, however, must be taken to ensure the skills of the fractional CIO align primarily with the needs of the business, and not weighted with technical expertise in order to achieve the best results.Fractional CIOs typically serve several companies and may-or-may-not engage in the day-to-day management of a company's IT staff or other resources.

What is a Fractional CIO8/22/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


The Virtual or Fractional CIO acts as the management teams expert in IT The function could have direct or indirect control over the companys IT function. Often it is best to provide the Virtual / Fractional CIO direct authority for IT but they can also function in an advisory capacity to functional management (CEO/COO/CFO) who maintains operating responsibilityFor small to medium sized businesses this person may not be a W2 employee of the companyThey may be a consultant or contractor working on a retainer or hourly basisManagements objective in making this arrangement is to acquire long term and deep experience at affordable prices

All that is a very verbose way of saying8/22/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


What does the Virtual / Fractional CIO do 8/22/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved

10A Virtual / Fractional CIO does for SMBs what a full time CIO does for larger organizations. Management teams should look at them as first a trusted advisor, second as a strategic partner and third as the go to executive to manage IT and get the strategic initiatives done

Often SMBs have junior and more technically oriented leaders in their IT organization. Todays environment requires experience managing multiple service providers, OEMs and vendors from purchasing experience to developing and managing contracts and SLAs experience mattersAlmost every function has unique needs for technology and IT, vendors are talking to the functional leaders and selling one off solutionsConstituency management, business case development and review and the overall architecture of systems and technology will likely be a make-or-break proposition as a company grows. Its critical to make the right decisions to let best-of-breed solutions run or whether larger enterprise approaches are the right directionMany companies face first time implementation issues or are swapping out old and outdated technology after many years of use and lack the change management expertise to drive success and value from projectsIt is crucial, in those cases to have the been there done that experience close to the management team.OEMs can bring implementation process, some best practice and configuration expertise but cant run the program or drive the involvement, business change decision making that will lead to success and realization of benefits

Why would smaller and medium sized businesses engage a Virtual / Fractional CIO8/22/2016Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved


There are a few fractional CIO listings which can be