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Posted October 20, 2015 by A-Jay Orr

The One Person You Need to Hire in 2016: 11 Reasons Why

Managing your own IT is expensive, confusing and stressful. You have to worry about your LAN and WLAN, firewall settings, server and/or cloud configurations, cyber security, mobile device integration, telephony systems, collaboration tools…and the moment something goes wrong — it’s like playing a game of Russian Roulette trying to figure out which vendor to call and what actions to take. Meanwhile, your business may be experiencing down time, your employees are sitting ducks and you’re losing revenue.

The perfect solution for organizations who need expert IT guidance, but can’t afford the cost of hiring a full-time employee is hiring a virtual CIO (vCIO). vCIOs provide IT maintenance and support on a contractual basis. Their services cover everything from assessing your current business technology set-up and fitting new solutions that align with your business goals and budget, to mapping the right IT plan to support future goals and growth.

Here are some of the many things a vCIO can do for you:

1. Project Management

Be it IT related or otherwise, working with a vCIO who also has their Project Management Professionals (PMP) certification will help your business plan, develop, roll out and manage any size project. Their mission is always to get the job done right, on time and on budget.

2. Multi-Location Collaboration

vCIOs take a customized approach to aligning your multiple locations and will align your business with the best possible solutions to simplify communication and make all components function as one coherent system.

3. Remote User Connectivity

In today’s mobile world, it’s important for remote employees to stay connected. A vCIO will outfit your business with solutions that enable them 24/7/365 access to information, software and applications by creating a secure internet connection.

4. PC Maintenance

Proper ongoing PC maintenance is paramount to your business operation. A vCIO will align your business with solutions like remote monitoring and routine security assessments to ensure the health of your PC environment remains up-to-date and reliable.

5. Windows, Mac or Android Integration

Mobile devices can be invaluable tools when properly protected and integrated with business applications. A vCIO will know which solutions will allow your staff to use these devices, even if particular programs aren’t designed to support them.

6. Regulation Compliance

Cyber crime and security is a major concern for business owners today. A breach could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and fines, as well as a damaged reputation. vCIOs ensure you instantly satisfy the technology requirements mandated by all federal regulations for your industry. They also specialize in HIPAA compliancy.

7. Voice over IP Phone System (VoIP)

Seamlessly tie multiple locations together, reduce overhead while increasing communication quality and bolster productivity with features like voicemail to email conversion and find-me-follow-me. A virtual CIO will custom-fit your business with the right VoIP solution and cut out the need for AT&T or Time Warner service.

8. IT Assessment & Disposal

Need help determining which equipment can stay and which needs to go? A virtual CIO offers complete assessments, including computers and servers. If it’s time to dispose of old equipment, they also facilitate proper discard.

9. Proposal Reviews

Proposals can be confusing, especially when they’re filled with IT jargon. Your vCIO will review them for you. They act like an IT filter, helping you identify any details that don’t exactly align with your business goals or budget. A vCIO will also ensure that what you’re being sold is precisely what you want and need.

10. Road Mapping

A vCIO becomes immersed in your organization, listening and observing closely to understand what you do, what your pain points are, and what you wish to achieve in the future. Whether your goal is to make more money, expand offices or go international, a vCIO will be able to outfit your business with the tools and technologies necessary to support future plans.

11. Problem Resolution

With a vCIO managing your IT care, you don’t have to worry about who to call if something goes wrong. They coordinate the resolution of all IT-related issues on your behalf, and reach out to necessary vendors fast to correct issues before they impact business.

IT is constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. A few years ago, small- to mid-size businesses outsourced their IT maintenance because it was the easy, cost effective thing to do. But as we draw closer to 2016 and anticipate not only great technological strides, but also serious cyber crime and fierce competition — working with a virtual CIO isn’t a luxury anymore…it’s a necessity.