Virtual CTO

Virtual CIO Services

Virtual CIO Services2021-01-17T23:29:29-06:00

Leverage Expert Tech Leadership When & Where You Need it.  ONLY When & Where You Need it.

Technology has never been more strategic than it is to modern business.  Because IT skills are so different from those possessed by many business leaders, most CEOs and Boards of Directors want an experienced leader at the top of their IT organization. Experience is critical in IT decisions from architecture to culture, staffing, and vendor options.  These crucial decisions will reverberate – for better or for worse – across their companies for years to come…

With decisions of this importance on the line, where the spectrum of impact from wise vs. poor decisions is so extremely wide, it’s no wonder that many companies hire full-time CIOs/CTOs for this role, often conducting nationwide/worldwide searches to find the right candidate.  Compensation packages have increased significantly in recent years, as the strategic importance of the role has increased far faster than the pool of experienced leaders.

But what are companies to do who who can’t afford the escalated compensation packages demanded by experienced C-level IT leaders, despite having the same needs for this expertise?  Most courses of action involve a trade-off either accepting less experience than ideally wanted and/or higher compensation costs for the position.  With any approach, it is a difficult challenge for companies with limited budgets to get the experience they truly need for these critical decisions and responsibilities. Innovation Vista’s Virtual CIO/CTO Service (aka Fractional CIO, Fractional CTO, Part-time CIO, Part-time CTO) has been designed as a solution for companies in exactly this situation.

Our Virtual CIO/CTO Service Brings You the Tech Expertise and Leadership You Need, at a Price You Can Afford

Our firm’s unique approach offers small- and mid-size companies the guidance and IT leadership services of expert consultants who have served in a C-level IT role in one or multiple successful tenures, and who have experience in your industry.  Our consultants:

  • Possess decades of experience with the strategic decisions needed for success in enterprise technology
  • Have familiarity with the business model(s) and terminology of your industry
  • Are armed with our proprietary Innovation framework and toolkits to Stabilize, Optimize, and Monetize your organization’s IT
  • Provide virtual IT leadership services to clients on a part-time/fractional retainer basis, to make this expertise accessible to any budget
fractional CIO

Whether You Need to Stabilize Your IT or Ready to Build an Industry-leading Platform, Experienced Leadership Matters

We tailor our services to your needs.  …and to your budget.

  • Some CEOs feel comfortable with their IT management, but like the idea of an expert looking over the platform, processes, and plans for a small cost
    • Our offering starts as low as $1000 per week – a cheap “insurance policy”
    • Often, suggestions from having been “around the block” can help organizations avoid painful mistakes with minor, simple steps
    • Our consultants can serve as a coach/mentor to IT managers with good potential and company/industry expertise, but who lack seasoning
    • Need to start small (startup, new business division) but want the right foundation put in place for future growth?
  • Some CEOs want more involvement from an experienced leader, e.g. working on the IT architecture, structure, processes, and budget
    • Our service can scale as your needs change – a bit like a Cloud approach to “CIO as a Service
    • This service can begin in the form of an Interim CIO (full-time) and then ramp down after an M&A event, new-hire, knowledge transfer, etc.
    • Your virtual CTO can also act as a technology advisor to the board and/or C-suite on strategic IT decisions and alternatives
    • Need more involvement to Stabilize and develop a plan to Optimize your IT, then reduce to lower ongoing costs?

End the Trade-offs of Cost vs. Experience – Let us Tailor a “vCIO” Service for Your Organization’s Needs and Opportunities

Below see some of our recent Thought Leadership on the topic of IT Leadership…

Successful Leadership in the New COVID Reality

Successful leadership in the new COVID reality will require a new approach to overcome the unforeseen challenges presented by the pandemic. So many plans for 2020 have been paused or fully abandoned in the wake of more pressing concerns. Organizations must learn to adapt, to continue finding innovative ways to carry on, to begin looking ahead. Here are a few potential traps and ways to overcome them as leaders begin rising to the challenge:   COVID changed the landscape of many aspects of our lives. The world will no longer operate like it did prior to the arrival of this virus.  Leaders should challenge their assumptions, existing plans, and business models to consider what must, or should, be different now.  The future still remains uncertain, but it is certain that many aspects of life will not return to what they were before.  Creative contingency plans will help ensure that whatever [...]

By |April 13th, 2020|Categories: Innovation, IT Leadership|3 Comments

CRM Adoption Needs Good Leadership as Much as Good IT

Over 90% of companies with dedicated sales teams have licensed a CRM system, and yet far fewer of these companies believe their CRMs are strategic in their impact to the top and bottom lines.  Quora got double-digits responses to the question "Why do salespeople hate CRM?"  "Why do salespeople love CRM?" had not been posted as a question as of the time of this writing. Why is it so challenging to get sales teams to use CRM systems? Contrary to some other commentators on this topic, I don't believe the problem of low CRM adoption is due mainly to the systems being overly complex, or salespeople having limited grasp of software generally.  Don't get me wrong; some CRMs are no doubt too complex, designed by techies without sufficient input from real sales teams, etc.   There are over 300 different CRM systems in the market today, and no doubt some are [...]

What CXOs should know about Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a buzzword which has crept into the language of business in recent years, and the definition of the term varies greatly. At Innovation Vista, we define “digital transformation” as the effort to use technology to grow revenue. Digital Transformation - IT strategy insights for CXOs Digital transformation is driven by a broader view of Information Technology than its traditional goals of increasing efficiency and automation to help businesses save money and boost productivity. Today, technology has advanced in ways that allow businesses to do much more than what was possible in the past. Even in its traditional scope, IT has become a major component of most businesses' success. Most corporate executives and C-suites are comfortable with it in this shape and size, but when there’s talk of re-envisioning IT, even with the promise of greater impact, CXOs can become understandably nervous. Hesitations on Digital Transformation One of [...]

Should IT Leadership enter the Gig Economy?

With the recent growth of the gig economy in all kinds of sectors and roles, it bears asking whether this kind of structure might be a cheaper option for more companies searching for top-level IT leadership.  Answering this question will have some nuances, but it seems clear that going with a "gig CIO" is worth considering, and is likely better than at least one all-too-common mistake in choosing heads of IT. When you hear “gig economy,” likely you imagine transactions with Uber or Upwork—companies that operate under a “pay by the drink” approach.  It's part of a larger trend which also encompasses the Cloud revolution, where you pay per month for the specific amount of compute and storage you've utilized.  In general, participants in our economy are increasingly preferring to pay for only what they use, in many categories of goods and services.   Approximately 57 million people (36% of U.S. [...]

By |November 22nd, 2019|Categories: IT Leadership|0 Comments

Transformation Needs the Top, Even if it Doesn’t Start There

No matter where the vision for innovation comes from, the board and CEO must support and evangelize transformation for it to succeed. If the board and CEO don't fully grasp why the transformation is needed, or how it should be achieved, it can bring about more harm than good. They would be better of pausing or canceling the project until everyone can get on the same wavelength. The worst whiplash an organization can receive is a "transformation" project being pushed by IT which doesn't have the support of top leadership. Why? Because the rest of the company will take their lead on how to respond—how seriously to take the change—from their top leadership. If they see shoulder shrugs, they may shrug too and won’t be fully committed to getting on board. Just as importantly, the support from top leadership will deeply impact the behavior of those pushing the change—in IT [...]

By |October 11th, 2019|Categories: Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership|0 Comments

Step 1 to Swimming in the Digital Pool – Get in the Water

Do you have a vision for the potential of technology to impact your company's future, but lack the details to make specific proposals? Part of leadership is seeing the need for change and taking steps to share and implement this vision with your team. The first step doesn’t have to be perfect or huge—you need not jump into the deep end of the pool right away, but it's critical at least to acknowledge that you need to learn how to swim. No matter how your organization uses data—processing, analyzing, or simply entering it and viewing it on a daily basis—there is a high likelihood that some kind of digital technology can take your efforts to the next level.  Initially, you may not have clarity on how automation, AI, or analytics will play a part, but neither is it a requirement for someone to know all the strokes before deciding they [...]

By |October 5th, 2019|Categories: Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership|0 Comments
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