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Posted by A-Jay Orr

The One Person Every Business Must Hire in 2018

Managing your own IT is expensive, confusing and stressful. You have to worry about your LAN and WLAN, firewall settings, servers, cloud configurations, devastating cyber attacks, mobile device integration, IP phone systems, collaboration tools…

The moment something goes wrong — it’s a whirlwind 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). A vCIO provides 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 budget, to mapping the right IT plan to support goals and growth.

10 Reasons Why a vCIO Is This Year’s MVP:

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 budget.

2. Multi-Location Collaboration
vCIOs take a customized approach to aligning your multiple locations and will outfit your business with the best possible solutions to simplify communications and make all technical operations 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 help you support your remote workforce with solutions that enable 24/7/365 access to information, software and applications — always using a secure connection.  

4. PC Maintenance
Proper ongoing PC maintenance is paramount to your business operation. A vCIO offers services 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 safely use these devices, even if particular programs aren’t designed to support them.  

6. Regulation Compliance
Cybercrime and security is a major concern for business owners today. A breach could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and a fatally-damaged reputation. vCIOs ensure you satisfy the technology requirements mandated by all federal regulations for your industry. They also specialize in HIPAA compliancy.  

7. 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.  

8. Proposal Reviews
IT proposals can be confusing, especially when they’re filled with technical jargon. Your vCIO will review and translate them for you. They act as 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.  

9. 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.  

10. 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. This is both good and bad. When leveraged strategically, technology will differentiate your business from competitors and help you reach business goals. But the more complex technology gets, the greater the opportunities for cybercriminals to attack (and the more advanced their ability to execute). Like we’ve seen with Equifax — even the most established organizations are at risk, and the impact can be massive. Working with a virtual CIO isn’t a luxury anymore…it’s a necessity.

Did this article get your business gears turning? Click here to learn more about who a vCIO is and how they fix your relationship with technology.