Virtual CIO service – Value generation for SME sectors through collective shared knowledge
CIO has a very vital role in the growth of any company in these times of technology. From someone who was responsible for churning out financial data under the leadership of a CFO to someone who is at equal footing or even more in board room discussions has been the journey of the CIO over last four decades.
Large companies spend a lot of time and money to get an all-round leader to lead their business IT function. The role has become so crucial that company’s sustainability, growth and profitability, all hinge on the ability of the CIO to enable business. While large companies can hire superstar leaders in managing their IT, issue is mainly with small companies who are not very tech savvy and have almost no access to a CIO like person. Several mid scale companies also have been carrying their IT manager who was more of an execution guy than a strategist as a CIO.
“ An informed CIO can help bring down the cost of IT while making the business grow and certainly worth the cost..…”
Without knowing the risk of having someone not capable to lead this function, many of these companies run a risk of loosing out in this era of technology excellence and enablement. These companies end up doing things which either is inefficient, not scalable or just something because it was in their plain sight in absence of someone to advice & guide them appropriately in enabling them better.
I happened to stay in a hotel where the point of sale was a standard system and except for room booking and printing invoices, nothing more could be done. This hotel was listed online but on doing online booking, rooms were not automatically booked in the system. Hotel staff relied heavily in several manual processes to keep track of these things, without knowing that there can be something better. In this process, they missed few overnight reservations already done online ending up loosing customers and not knowing how to control the issue.
On the other hand, a Hotel chain was highly efficient and had far less staff to do the same work even more efficiently, because of effective automation. Moreover, system helped them understand the customer’s previous history and offer them with deals, which generated even more business.
The question of how these small entities can have access to good CIOs still remains. There are niche companies, who provide a virtual CIO like services by helping mid and small scale companies in deciding the IT strategies and helping them execute in a shared mode. An informed CIO can help bring down the cost of IT while making the business grow and certainly worth the cost.
This is something, even larger companies can take advantage of eventually, using he collective wisdom of thousands of CIOs globally.
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Picture Credits : p1cgroup, For representational purposes only
By Alok Kumar