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How to Choose a Virtual CIO

How to Choose a Virtual CIO

Virtual CIO We are in the middle of a paradigm shift comparable to the infiltration of personal computing into the “glass-house” data center of the 1980s and the Internet explosion of the 1990s. Most businesses will need help in planning and managing the transitions ahead. What should they look for and what should they expect from Brittenford’s CIO Advisory Services model?

The Advisory Services Model offers a way to visualize the four pillars of this model: strategy, domain expertise, mentoring, and resource augmentation. An established CIO Advisory practice is likely to offer all four components in a unique combination of personal strengths, platform- and industry-specific skills, and business know-how. Your own needs determine which offering has the most to contribute at a given time.


Ideally, a virtual CIO will have working experience with multidisciplinary IT teams and many different organizations. The project at hand may dictate whether to engage a specialist in your vertical market or a technology expert with broad cross-industry implementation experience. A vertical specialist is a good choice if you are looking for business strategy as part of the advisory package. Emphasizing technical credentials is a good idea when you need a roadmap or a second opinion.

Unlike management consultants who provide a plan then leave you to execute it, a virtual CIO can give you strategic direction and also can execute on the strategic, tactical, or operational level, whether alone or with special project staffing. And unlike an interim CTO, a virtual CIO is not a candidate for a full-time position with your company. They are engaged on a project basis but need to think strategically about where the project fits in. From an outside perspective, a virtual CIO can often keep an organization focused on the end business objective to be achieved, and not just the particular application or process that needs to be built or fixed.

CIO Advisory Services can help the CIO build alliances among stakeholders, translate between IT and the business units, motivate and mentor effectively, and keep the big picture in focus for everybody. This holistic approach helps to integrate systems, save costs, lower risks, increase innovation and produce successful outcomes.

For more information about CIO Advisory Services, please download our Guide to CIO Advisory Services.



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CIO Advisory Services: Helping Your IT Organization to do More with Less

Learn more how Brittenford’s CIO Advisory Services can enhance the owner’s or CIO’s personal effectiveness in a number of ways. Download our Guide to CIO Advisory Services, addressing the growing trend of outsourcing all or portions of the Chief Information Officer function in small to midsize businesses (SMBs), as the complexity of information technology (IT) grows.

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