CIO can help in formulating strategic IT goals, planning the IT budget, analyzing/reworking business processes and facilitating technology changes. The main difference between the vCIO function and other technical advisory services is that the vCIO takes a broader view of the client, focusing on business and IT alignment. In this blog, we describe a defined list of objectives to immediately get moving and help begin their new role with the energy, drive, and approach to be successful.
Get a Clear Picture of the State of Tech
The first step of a vCIO should be to get a clear picture of the state of technology within the client’s organization. The simplest way to make that happen is to carry out face-to-face interviews with stakeholders across your organization. This will expose the vCIO to as many different viewpoints as possible. The benefit of being new to the leadership position, is that people will feel more ready to open up to you because you represent a possibility for change. The vCIO will weigh these options against what is feasible.
During interviews, the vCIO will pay special attention to the possibility of “Shadow IT” within the organization. With the ubiquity of cloud apps, people use a lot of technology to do their job that they don’t necessarily think of as falling under IT’s purview.
For example: As it relates to digital document repositories, departments within the same organization may use different platforms potentially resulting in a disjointed operational presence and possible security deficiencies. For example, one department uses Dropbox, another uses SharePoint, yet another uses Google Drive. These scenarios can usually be solved through strategized platform consolidation. This is one real-world scenario that our dedicated vCIO would be able to identify and remediate in short order.
Audit the Organization’s Security Procedures
Regardless of the size of an organization, a key area of IT that requires a more recent appraisal is the organization’s security procedures. 2020 saw data breaches dominating the headlines, and many organizations needed to recognize that being hacked is a genuine and very real threat. Begin by considering what the client organization has, proprietary or otherwise, that might be worth taking. It’s easy to believe that there’s safety in numbers, especially if you are a small business but in actuality, half of all cyber attacks target small businesses. Payroll information, user IDs & logins, and access that you have to other companies’ networks are all useful for a diligent hacker looking to turn a quick profit. This information is easy to use for bank fraud, identity theft, or to help find an opening that lets an attacker “climb the ladder” to a bigger, more appealing target.
Target an Easy Win
Although taking bold and innovative direction is a primary instinct of any new leadership, it might underrate the importance of momentum. The team needs to feel like it’s moving forward and getting something done. Momentum is key to mustering the motivation and drive that leadership needs to get to those big goals and implement significant changes. A simple way to kickstart this process is to identify an easily obtainable change, point to it publicly as an essential goal, and then achieve it.
While these goals might be quickly written-off as an easy win or something that is not all that important, it should be clear that we are accomplishing a lot more than just making a basic change. By demonstrating follow-through and giving the team a taste of success, it starts a process that keeps people motivated and makes buy-in contagious.
The vCIO will set some clear and actionable goals to hit in the first 30 days. They will keep objectives simple and straightforward, and they will set the tone that will prove invaluable in weeks, months, and years to come. Whether you need an interim CIO, expert consultative IT services, or if you are in the search for a permanent CIO, Executive Option’s CIO-as-a-Service program will provide you with the professional assistance you are looking for. Contact us to see which of our areas of focus work best for your company.