Who is the Fractional CIO?

Sam Bloedow
man in business suit outstretching hand to shake

With more of our business operations relying on technology to function and investments continuing to grow, having an IT group to who just keeps the day to day running is no longer enough.  Is it time for a fractional CIO?

A Dedicated IT Expert

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is an executive-level professional who has the knowledge and skills in Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and possesses the ability to communicate with other C-level officers about the technology in the office. Fractional CIOs are C-level IT professionals who get to know your unique business needs and effectively transfers outdated practices into a modern workplace.  CIO's are responsible for the strategy around your IT and computer systems inorder to support enterprise goals. It is the CIO's job to innovate, collaborate, balance the IT budget and motivate IT staff. 

What does the Fractional CIO do? 

IT Strategy & Planning 

The CIO asks, “Does the direction we are headed with our IT investments best support the current and future direction our company?” This includes not only products, but people and processes. Are our IT people spending their time on areas that have positive ROI for our business, over the sunk cost of keeping the day to day running? 

Not only does the CIO plan and strategize, but they also keep systems and IT operations maintained or improved to maximize performance. 

Budgeting & Forecasting 

The CIO reviews the IT budget and looks to ensure it includes the most important things that need to happen in the coming year. That way during the year the IT strategy is managed to the budget and IT surprises are eliminated.  

Proactive Communication 

The CIO expertly explains to the other executives the benefits and risks of new IT-related projects while collaborating with all the other departments in the company to understand their needs and goals. They also work to ensuring the right technology is in place to support them, that IT is seen by all the other department heads as a partner, further enabling their own department's success, and that the changes that are made, are the right changes for the entire business. 

The CIO also oversees relationships with vendors, contractors, and other service providers to ensure good flow of communication among all business technologies.  

View video: Who is the Fractional CIO? 

Why does your business need a Fractional CIO? 

You need an IT leader that understands your business and technology, strategically. Not a manager or director, but the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The CIO needs to be strategically guiding and directing all things technology: hardware, software, business applications, and services. These all need to work in tandem together for your business, or you'll end up overspending in people resources or technology. 

The CIO:

  • holds recurring monthly IT steering meetings with all functional leaders of the business. They evaluate the existing IT plan against the changing business needs to ensure they are still the top priorities and identifying new business needs to explore in the future. 
  • builds the IT plan and quantifies initiatives in business terms. For example, they look at how many hours they could save the business a month, or how much revenue is at risk. 
  • analyzes how each of the other business functions work while identifying new productivity initiatives to consider that would further support your business plan. 
  • informs you of new risk to the business based on in-depth analysis of your current technology footprint and areas it is outside of IT best practices. 

Get a Fractional CIO on your Team 

If you’re ready to explore an innovative approach to IT with a proactive and strategic vCIO, schedule a FREE IT strategy session today! 


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