6 Key Responsibilities of a World-Class vCIO

6 Key Responsibilities of a World-Class vCIO

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Jed Fearon

Solution Advisor, 17+ years of experience in MSP Solution Development, Sales and Marketing Communications

Is Your IT A Smooth Ride in the Fastlane or Mostly Gridlock?

Does the dialogue inside your head ever sound like this?

Okay, why is this stupid machine updating now? Great, it’s locked up and I’ve got a Zoom call in five minutes.

No, it’s restarting. I’ve got zero time for this. So much for working from home and getting anything done.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the VPN issue earlier this week? I bet our IT department sent an email about this after it got reconnected, and I blew it off.

I was probably preoccupied with using One Drive the right way. And by ‘right way’ I mean in a manner that backs up my work to the corporate file share.

Oh yeah, every time I log in, I have to click “Start” on the bottom left, type “One Drive,” then go to the lower right hand corner of my screen and click on the blue cloud icon.

No way, my machine is ready. It’s a miracle! Perhaps it heard me cussing and decided to play along? But now there’s no volume and my camera doesn’t work.

Unpredictable IT environments frustrate everyone with hiccups and delays that directly affect your bottom line. And the moods of your employees.

Flimsy systems also make you more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Erratic IT systems don't materialize overnight. They evolve by default rather than by design.

Don’t worry, help is on the way with your ProviDyn vCIO.

What is a vCIO?

An experienced vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer) can be a gamechanger.

A vCIO performs a role very similar in function to a financial planner, insurance advisor, or CPA. Each orchestrates specific tasks that maximize your wealth, improve asset performance, reduce your risk, and limit your tax liability.

Your ProviDyn vCIO takes a similar approach managing your organization's digital assets, with one key exception: it's one individual providing strategic guidance across several different but highly interdependent technology disciplines – Network, Cloud, Cyber Security, Business Continuity, Unified Communications, Compliance, and more.

The net effect of this integrated methodology is growth enhancement, risk reduction, and responsive IT systems your employees will love.

You're probably saying, ’wait, I thought I was doing research on managed IT services.’

You are. We're talking about vCIO because it's over-hyped and under-delivered in the MSP marketplace.

A best in class vCIO might be the missing ingredient that's causing you to change providers more often than you have to. Or making your employees suffer road rage even when they’re not in traffic.

Here's a quick review of Six critical success factors you cannot afford to overlook.

6 Key vCIO Duties

    1. Improvisation Is Not a Strategy
      A strategy is ground zero. Your ProviDyn vCIO will tie your plan and budget to a proven IT process based on industry best practices and standards.
      Learn More: Technology StandardsThey plan the work and work the plan to accommodate your short, medium, and long-term goals with data-driven recommendations.
    2. Account Management
      Your ProviDyn vCIO is "information central" for all facets of your account. While day to day support is managed by a service pool of system and network engineers, the vCIO is your "Bat Phone" to billing information, contract details, and project timelines/updates.They run point on scheduling meetings with technology vendors whose services integrate with your network. This is known as vendor management and covers the coordination of business activities with third parties: telecom, carrier, VoIP, security camera, software, low voltage, AV, alarm companies, and more.

      Your vCIO is not only a high-level business resource; he or she also understands the minutia and has an alphabet soup list of IT Certifications.

      These credentials are vital when engaging system engineers, network engineers, and project managers to implement your business-enabling technology.

      They will also help renegotiate technology contracts to make sure you are getting the best combination of price, performance, and risk management.

      Learn More: Professional Services

    3. Meeting Cadence
      Your ProviDyn vCIO meets with you and your Technology Planning Committee regularly: quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. They keep you on track.The vCIO team is organized and pleasantly persistent when it comes to securing face to face client meetings with key IT stakeholders.
    4. Documentation
      Creating, managing, and updating Network Diagrams, IT Roadmaps, and IT Project Management Plans takes time and discipline. When you add extra work related to the administration of software maintenance agreements, licensing, warranties, vendor directories, and subscription renewals, your ProviDyn vCIO is practically conducting "super-human" activities to help you:

      • Stay ahead of the technology lifecycle
      • Future proof your IT
      • Advance your business continuity
      • Make your technology more user friendly
      • Protect you from cyber liability

      Is comprehensive documentation included in your vCIO plan? Find out. It creates a lot of overhead expenses that many MSPs are unwilling to bear.

    5. Regulation & Compliance
      Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. If Ben were around today, he would add regulation and compliance.

      This is just a small survey of industry-specific frameworks your ProviDyn vCIO can help you manage:

      • AICPA
      • COPPA
      • CCPA
      • COBIT
      • GDPR
      • HIPAA
      • ISO
      • NIST
      • PCI-DSS
      • SOX

      TCDI Security Compliance has an exhaustive list of additional examples.

      Since security and compliance are always changing, there is no way to be 100% compliant, 100% of the time. This is another area where documentation can be your best friend. If you have a breach or a legal incident, proper IT system documentation can be used as proof of due care to lower your liability.

      Reliable documentation can also be employed to strengthen your case if prospective clients require you to sign a Business Associate Agreement.

    6. Experience
      Is your vCIO an executive with at least 20 years of MSP and corporate IT department experience? Or a junior level account executive? Many MSPs employ commissioned salespeople who deliver vCIO "Lite."At ProviDyn, our vCIOs are seasoned consultants whose compensation is based on your success and satisfaction. If you grow with us, they grow with us. This creates an extra level of accountability.

      See Bio for Anita Marco 

Mastering the Learning Curve

Aren't you glad the world has subject matter experts and proven systems to manage all of these complicated, moving parts?

I certainly don't have this skill set. Instead, I enjoy the fruits of a sound vCIO practice whenever I log into the ProviDyn network. It's fast, secure, convenient, and everything gets backed up.

Does your team have the same experience?

We look forward to helping you evaluate the merits of vCIO, answering any additional questions, and being a sounding board in your educational journey.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like some of the related content in our free eBook.

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