WHAT IS A FRACTIONAL CIO (CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER)?
Every business regardless of size in today’s modern economy employs technology. Technology enables businesses to achieve their goals. Depending on how well implemented it will either be an asset furthering, or a liability impeding those goals. The person usually responsible for technology in mid to larger size organizations is referred to as either a CIO (Chief Information Officer) or a CTO (Chief Technology Officer).
What is a Fractional CIO or CTO
Most small-sized businesses have neither the resources nor the workload to justify employing someone with the experience and knowledge required to lead IT teams and projects at the executive level. It often takes someone decades to gain the extraordinary breadth and depth of skills to effectively advise an organization on the best methods of investing and deploying its limited resources. A fractional position often makes sense in small and even medium sized businesses. In these instances, a consultant has many advantages including part time or project-based compensation as well as commanding a high experience level because they are constantly exposed to new methodologies and different industries.
CIO’s and CTO’s are responsible for creating technology-centric strategies aligning the enterprise with the business goals. It is this person’s job to fully understand what the business wishes to accomplish and create a strategic technology plan to reach those goals as efficiently and effectively as possible given the available technology resources.
Security and Disaster planning
Ideally a business creates a security plan prior to a breach and a disaster abatement plan prior to an actual disaster. Unfortunately, many small business leaders see these activities as additional cost centers rather than insurance mitigating a risk as they are intended. As the adage says: Plan for the worst, hope for the best. These activities fall under the technology leader’s purview. In many instances, the actual technologies implemented will be configured by specialists in their field, however the responsibility of choosing those technologies and specialists is up to the CIO or CTO.
IT Maintenance, Monitoring and Management
Comprehensive, consistent, and strategic IT management is often the difference between having a well-oiled machine driving employee productivity or a cost center burning valuable cash. A well experienced and knowledgeable person at the helm is an essential component of ensuring your IT department enables success and empowers the rest of the organization to excel past their peers in other organizations.
One of the reasons top IT executives come from many different technology backgrounds is it takes decades to garner the knowledge required perform so highly in different technology subjects at once. Small and medium sized businesses require the same types of specializations as larger organizations but often rely more on jack of all trade types who lack the depth of knowledge in multiple subjects. A fractional CIO/CTO has the advantage of working across many businesses at once and can lower the cost of sale of their service because of being spread between several companies.
Even if you believe your IT department is protecting your organizations best interest, TSL can play an advisory role to ensure that your assessment is accurate. TSL offers highly strategic and operational services. Contact us for a free evaluation.