Understanding the CIO as a Service (CIOaaS) Option

What is it?

Here at CIO On Call, we understand the importance and value of outsourcing your IT operations – it comes down to service delivery and output.

In our industry, we often notice that there can be a large disconnect between what your organisation needs from an IT perspective and what IT services you actually receive. This can cause major disruption in your ability to deliver your product or service, impacting on your overall competitive edge in the marketplace.

By utilising CIO as a Service (CIOaaS), you’ll quickly see how effective it will allow your business to function. Sitting between your management structure and any external IT service provider(s), CIOaaS will provide your company with high-level management and execution of IT strategies along with IT delivery contracts.

CIOaaS provides you with access to the technical expertise when you need it, along with advice when things change and overall support. This allows your organisation to function and grow while acquiring the tech to continue to deliver its products and services.

Not only does CIOaaS provide you with ongoing support, but it can also help you with your lower end CIO services or temporary CIO services as well.


How it helps your business

  1. You’ll get access to ongoing advice and engagement – find the support you need to make strategic changes and IT decisions by tapping into expertise that you may not have yourself.
  2. Access collaboration when you need it – executive and internal IT resources will benefit by using the CIOaaS to collaborate on core essentials required to continue IT governance and coach internal IT resources (as needed).
  3. Get immediate help with complete strategic oversight – a service when you need it – full oversight of all your IT strategy and services. This is a function the CIOaaS excels at and one where an organisation will benefit from the most where internal resources are lacking.

At CIO On Call we are able to deliver CIOaaS because we understand the strengths and knowledge required to make an organisations IT strategies and resources remain in line with company wide strategic goals.

It’s an important role and one that is not taken lightly. A Chief Information Officer is key to the integral operational output of an organisation. They are also key to ensuring that technology keeps up with the growth of the business.

Without core IT strategies being actively implemented and changed, an organisation can find itself sailing a ship that has no wind. Technology is changing at a pace never seen before; companies need to keep up to ensure they remain competitive in their current marketplace.

Contact CIO On Call today to discuss how your business can utilise the CIOaaS in your day-to-day IT operations.

Dealing With Rouge IT Purchases

There are many challenges associated with providing temporary CIO services; from getting internal IT resource buy-in to executive communications.

An interim CIO needs to always be aware of company policies and able to identify holes and suggest solutions wherever possible.

One such challenge that is becoming more and more common is that of rogue IT purchases. This situation often arises when employees don’t have access to the technology they need to get a job done and purchase technology ‘on the side’ so they can achieve what they need to on a day-to-day basis.

Prominent CIO/CTO Bart Murphy from CareWorks says, “If you have a rogue IT unit, there’s something broken between your business and IT.” He goes on to say that it can either be the relationship or delivery system that is broken and that as a CIO, it’s your job to fix it.


Managing The Issue

The driving force behind why rogue IT purchases may happen is IT efficiency discrepancies. If a process needs to be automated or product cycles shortened, then this should be done immediately. By doing so, part-time CIO’s will be able to reduce the amount of rogue IT units floating around.

Of course, this is always easier said than done. Even if a business is aligned to its technology, the ability to eliminate rogue IT purchases can seem like a ‘mission impossible.’

No longer are the days when rogue IT was just an unauthorised PC or some servers under a desk. Interim CIO’s now have to deal with the onslaught of mobile devices, whether authorised or not.

Mobility in devices has accelerated the way we do business. Often times, success is measured by how quickly a response is received, whether in relation to market changes or to a new customer request.

Mobile devices allow users to procure apps easily and quickly, without any thought for IT repercussions – everything is accessible immediately.


Not All Rogue IT Is Bad

So what can part-time CIO’s do about rogue IT purchases? It comes from understanding what a rogue IT purchase means to the business as a whole. If rogue IT happens because a project is happening that the CIO is unaware of, which doesn’t align with the companies overall IT strategy and could result in some services becoming redundant, then this type of rogue IT is not a good thing.

If, on the other hand, the CIO is aware of a project in a business unit and rogue IT is purchased to support the project, which will lead to cutting-edge development and shared infrastructure, then this is a good thing. Results should be a more reliable product service and faster innovative developments.

As a temporary CIO service provider, CIO On Call understands the demands of a fast-paced, ever-changing technology market – all our of CIO’s know how to deal with rogue IT purchases, both good and bad. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you develop and identify these purchases right away.

BYOD – Security Issues for Interim CIOs and Part time CIOs

As an interim or part-time CIO, there are many issues that can arise in any given day when you’re working with multiple clients. But one issue that is becoming more commonplace is the issue of security when businesses allow the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace (bring your own device).

As an interim CIO, diplomacy and compromise are now common themes in a day-to-day IT strategic plan. In order for part-time CIO’s to stay relevant and survive in this fast changing marketplace, IT professionals need to embrace innovation and use an approach that centre’s around the end user to ensure seamless technology rollouts.


The New Battlefield – What It Looks Like

In today’s fast paced world, where business and personal life collide, executives and employees alike expect immediate access to their emails and data from their own devices. This challenges IT professionals to look at different ways to maintain data protection and security by developing flexible infrastructure and policies.

In order for part-time CIO’s to remain relevant, they need to be abreast of this change and customise the experience to meet the needs of each business unit.

Interim CIO’s that can demonstrate innovative ideas, adopt new technologies and embrace the BYOD revolution will see themselves in high demand.

Security Issues To Consider

As a part-time CIO, you will need to keep in mind the following security issues when dealing with BYO devices, particularly when it comes to high-level access:

  • Different devices require different security tweaks – treat each device as a new piece of technology – there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to multiple devices and platforms.
  • What do employees require access to? Creating policies around BYOD will provide some guidelines in this regard. Some employees may only need access to emails, while others will require access to the server remotely and in turn the data held on those servers.
  • Third-party apps – think about the apps already installed on each device – do you want to restrict the use of some (and can you actually do this on a personal device?) apps or utilise apps that block other apps when company data is being accessed.

Before you go down the path of allowing BYOD in the workplace, there are also a few things to consider, such as creating your own app to manage access to company data.

If you decide to go down this path, it pays to do your own due diligence and consider the types of devices and platforms that will be used to access company data.

No consideration of this could lead to some employees not being able to access corporate systems. This leads to very disgruntled employees and a level of service that is sub-par in terms of being a successful interim or part-time CIO.

BYOD is becoming more and more popular – before a company springs this on your CIO services contract, broach the subject with them and create policies that provide a user-centred approach. You’ll ensure that you stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant to your client.

CIOASS – A Wake Up Call For CIOs

As a CIO, you probably think your job is safe and secure, secure in the knowledge that you are contributing to the efficiencies and core business goals of the company you work for. But does your CEO feel the same way?

Things are changing in our industry and more and more CEO’s are looking for ways to save on costs – and one way they are doing this is to reduce overheads.

With temporary CIO services becoming more of a norm than a ‘nice to have’, CIOs need to look at ways to prove to their companies that they are worth the dollars.

Sure, you’ve spent the last few years standardising, optimising and consolidating your company’s IT operations, yet the main focus for businesses is not on IT efficiencies anymore, it’s on increasing revenue and creating customer engagement that will lead to long-term loyalty.

At industry functions, we’ve heard CEO’s, CMO’s, procurement heads and other high level executives say that they are looking for innovation, and that this seems to be coming from areas such as marketing, sales and R&D – why would they spend money on a CIO when these funds can be directed to areas that are making a difference to the businesses bottom line?


It’s About Diversification

To make sure you’re still relevant, it’s time to diversify your skill base and show how you can be innovative as a CIO. Your aim over the next few months should be to replace the ‘I’ in CIO with ‘Innovation’.

So how do you go about doing this? For starters, it might be time to consider your career options where you currently are. Maybe a change in sector could be a good idea? Or maybe you could consider turning your skills into a consultancy type business, where you could work with many different organisations and make a difference in many companies, rather than just working in the one place.

Being an on call CIO is a great career move. You’ll be able to show case how you can increase user engagement, how you understand cloud platforms, social and mobile technologies and how these can be applied in a business situation.

Your delivery goals will be about value, not budget, and you’ll be able to increase speed and customer satisfaction within each business you work with.

It’s time to wake up and consider your options as a CIO – maybe you can stay where you are and continue to develop and grow, or maybe it’s time for a change.

No matter what you decide to do, you can no longer leave your head in the ground, blissfully unaware – the IT world is changing – the question is, are you prepared to change with it?

The Cost Benefits of Hiring a Temporary CIO

Most businesses today depend on IT systems to perform most day to day activities. These businesses require the services of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) either on a daily basis or on a temporary basis, as the case may be.

At one time or another, even large businesses that have a permanently employed CIO might require temporary CIO services. This often occurs where such a business is in the process of acquiring a new CIO or where the CIO in charge is away from work for a given duration of time.

Small business owners on the other hand, may require temporary CIO services to ensure that they get maximum benefits from the IT systems they have put in place, without having to incur the cost of having a full-time employee to manage their IT systems.

If you are a business owner in Melbourne, Australia, here are some of the reasons why a CIO temporary service provider in Melbourne is a great choice for the overall success of your business.

  1. The overall cost of running your business will be much lower as you will only hire a CIO as the requirement is needed, while still getting an exemplary service from established CIO’s with great experience in their field.

    A temporary CIO makes more sense for a small business that does not require CIO services everyday as opposed to hiring a permanent employee whose services are not required most of the time.

  2. Your business benefits from IT upgrades made possible through evaluation of existing IT systems, making changes so that all existing systems are operating optimally, and employing newer and advanced IT systems.

    This ensures that the business can compete at the same level as larger players in the market. This in turn results in better performance of the business and increased income, both in the short and long term.

  3. Hiring temporary CIO services saves time, as permanent staff is left to concentrate and perform better in all other aspects of their job, where they may be more qualified.
  4. Professionally managed IT systems stand the test of time and serve the business better for longer. This reduces the overall cost of acquiring IT infrastructure for your business.
  5. An outsourced CIO can offer immense help in planning, acquisition and management of the entire IT department. Such CIO’s often come at a higher price if they are employed in a business on a permanent basis and most small businesses cannot afford this added expense.

The choice to hire temporary CIO services is good for business people looking for growth and prosperity. Get a CIO Melbourne service provider to help you accomplish your business goals and ensure that your IT systems are not only efficient, but are also up to current standards.

This will ensure that you stay ahead of your competitors, enjoy higher profits, and secure the future of your business.

What Services Does a CIO Provide?

Most businesses are embracing IT in almost all aspects of their company operations. Use of information technology can make or break a business, depending on how it is implemented as per business requirements.

Acquisition, maintenance and improvement of a business IT system requires expertise, that is where a Chief Information Officer (CIO) becomes an integral part of an enterprise’s human resource team.

A consulting CIO is tasked with the overall maintenance of a business or organisation’s IT and computer systems in order to ensure that all of the IT and computer systems are performing as required for the successful day to day running of a business.

A CIO will offer a wide range of services to a business or organisation. Some of these CIO services include:

1. Planning

A CIO helps a business or organisation design the IT systems to work in line with the business’s goals and objectives. The CIO will also assist the company in getting the right people to manage these systems on a day-to-day basis.

2. IT and Information Management

This involves everything, from getting the appropriate infrastructure required, setting up business IT systems, to ensuring that information technology systems are up and running as required. It also involves ensuring that the information gathered by a company is interpreted in such a way that it can be understood and implemented into the running of the business.

3. Process Improvement and Excellence

IT improvement and process excellence is one of the core CIO services. This is achieved through advisory initiatives whereby the CIO offers solutions to any existing IT inadequacies and will be involved while the business makes any appropriate changes. This leads to improvement of the business IT systems and sets the business on the path to excellence, both in terms of resources allocation and services offered.

4. Security

A CIO ensures that all information technology systems are secure, safeguarding the business’s information and data. Security is very important in business and any breach in security can have devastating effects on the business’s ability to continue its successful operations and meet customer needs and expectations.

5. Policy

A CIO ensures that the IT systems are in compliance with set IT standards in terms of user and privacy settings. This in turn ensures that all business IT systems are set up and maintained in accordance to law.

These five CIO services make up just a fraction of what CIO’s have to offer.

A CIO adapts according to different business requirements and provides each business with unique CIO services tailored to suit its IT related requirements.

All business owners should consider enlisting the services of a CIO, either on a full time or a part time basis, so as to take full advantage of information technology best practices in running their businesses.

Navigating the Change to Becoming an Interim CIO

Technology is a forever evolving and dynamic beast, with changes in the technology world occuring almost on a daily basis. If you’re a Chief Information Officer (CIO) employed to run a certain organisation’s IT department, you might miss out on all these changes, especially if the organisation or business you work for does not update its IT systems regularly.

Becoming an interim CIO or a part-time CIO may be a prudent choice if you are looking to navigate the changes in the IT field and remain relevant in your career.

Leaving permanent employment to offer part-time CIO services is a giant leap and you need to look at all the options and understand what you want to achieve by making this change.

Ensure that you are sure of the following five things before making the move into a part-time CIO career.

1. You are ready to learn

Most organisations and businesses hiring interim CIO’s are looking for competent individuals who are up to date and really good at what they do. This means you need to stay on top of your game and be ready to offer your clients more than they expect from an interim CIO.

This means you’ll need to doing some learning to bring yourself up to speed on all the changes if you’re not aware of them. Be open to learning and embrace change.

2. You love what you do

Becoming a temporary employee has its fair share of challenges and not just in the IT field. You will need to build relationships, earn clients trust and respect, and go ‘the extra mile’ to meet the demands of your clients. This means that it may take some time for you to become profitable and start seeing the rewards from your hard work.

Loving what you do is the best way you can survive in the beginning until the time comes when you begin to reap handsomely from your hard work. Be prepared for this BEFORE you take the leap.

3. You have other skills that most big companies are looking for

Most companies looking for part-time CIO’s normally want someone who can offer sound advice on IT infrastructure, lead existing IT departments and offer training to company IT staff.

To act in such a capacity, you need to possess skills other than just IT related skills. Some of these skills include managerial, analytical, teaching and business skills just to mention a few.

4. You can handle constant travelling

Being an interim CIO often involves frequent travel to different locations. You must enjoy this travelling aspect, otherwise you will end up taking on a few clients who might be paying top dollar, but might not paying enough to sustain your constant travel to and from the job.

5. You can work well with short-term arrangements

A part-time CIO gets hired on a part time basis. This means that at one point or another, the work may slow and you will have to depend on savings you have accumulated from earlier contracts.

You must be ready for these short-term engagements if you are to make it and become successful.

All in all, being an interim CIO comes with many benefits and might become the best career decision you’ve ever made.

CIO as a Service – CIOAAS

A Chief Information Officer (CIO), is a job title that defines the person responsible for the management of information technology within an organisation or business. CIO services  revolve around everything that is IT related. CIO’s can be offered as an outsourcing service to different business owners as and when required.

CIO as a service basically involves consultants, who through education and experience are experts in their IT field. They offer their services in all areas that concern IT management and all IT related decisions in a company.

Some of the CIO services offered by such consultants can include;

  • Experienced CIO’s can be sent to an organisation or business to assess the existing IT infrastructure and ensure that it aligns with the laid down goals and objectives of the companies overall strategic plan.
  • Providing guidance on the application of IT options to ensure that the IT systems in place will suit the business’s individual requirements.
  • Undertaking cost management measures to ensure that IT systems costs, performances, and resource allocations fall within the business’s budget. This is achieved by ensuring that IT systems are performing at their optimal level and eliminating any waste where possible.
  • Provide leadership to the business’s IT personnel, by providing a high level of expertise working across all business environments.
  • Reviewing the level of IT efficiency at given intervals and offering advice on areas where changes are necessary in order to ensure that a business meets its IT goals.
  • Train existing personnel on proper IT management, contributing to career development and business self-reliance for the future.
  • Provide a temporary CIO onsite who performs all the business CIO tasks when the business is in in the process of finding a permanent CIO or where the existing CIO has taken a leave of absence.
  • Help in decision making of IT infrastructure acquisition, implementation, and maintenance in accordance to stakeholders requirements and specifications.
  • Putting in place security measures to ensure that all business IT systems can’t be accessed by unauthorised individuals by safeguarding all sensitive business information.
  • Aligning the business IT systems with set standards and requirements to ensure compliance with law.

The CIO services above are meant to provide business owners with the required expertise to ensure that they do not become victims of some of the pitfalls that affect business people when it comes to IT.

A business that makes use of these services will definitely flourish and benefit from having efficient and up to date IT systems.

The services are ideal for large organisations and small businesses alike. All that is required is an agreement on the kind of services the business requires from a CIO, for what duration and what the overall objective is.

This flexibility means that the CIO services can be offered to a wide spectrum of businesses with diverse needs to successfully meet their expectations on all IT related issues.

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