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What the heck is a Fractional CIO and why would I want one


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What the heck is a Fractional CIO and why would I want one

  1. 1. What the heck is a Fractional CIO and why would I want one Discussion on how experienced, late career IT executives create value and drive success with technology in Small and Medium businesses 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved
  2. 2.  What are the IT issues that SMB’s face today  What do we hear from SMB leaders  Bottom line  What is a Virtual (or Fractional) CIO  What does the Virtual / Fractional CIO do  Why would smaller and medium sized businesses engage a Virtual / Fractional CIO  How to find, select and engage with a Fractional CIO Contents 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved2
  3. 3. Information Technology affects SMB’s today in similar fashion to how they affected large organizations a decade ago:  Customer interactions occur though mobile devices and through the web as much or more than via telemarketing and direct sales  Supply chain partners push companies to electronically integrate, eliminating paper, shorting cash to cash cycles and driving the move to lean processes  Social Media is becoming the dominate marketing communication mechanism and the place where there are high risks of negative reviews  Regulatory reporting and compliance requirements drive significant overhead into operations  Internal processes require automation to match the speed, coordination and lean performance required by the competitive cost environment What are the IT issues that SMB’s face today 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved3
  4. 4. Technology options get broader and more complex daily:  Cloud and SaaS (Software as a service) offerings provide potentially low entry costs for sophisticated technologies  Lower end systems become more sophisticated, rivaling long- lived market leaders  Integration of piece-parts has gotten only marginally easier requiring specialists to hook the puzzle pieces together  Support for all these capabilities, social, mobile, big data, back office systems, cloud and SaaS capabilities requires the management and coordination of multiple vendors, service providers, with complex contract and service level agreements  In-house IT people are generally junior, more technically focused and inexperienced in managing these environments What are the IT issues that SMB’s face today 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved4
  5. 5.  For us to continue to grow we need to move to more sophisticated systems but there are so many options and they are so expensive to buy and maintain  Golly I talk to our IT guy / provider, they are telling me that we need to upgrade our systems but I don’t understand those folks and have trouble seeing the business value in their proposals  We have so many different systems that our management has acquired but they don’t hook together and we never get reports that match  All of these ‘cloud-based’ systems are easy to get started with but as our use grows the costs go up and it’s getting out of control  There are a bunch of new regulations and compliance requirements coming out and we’ve got to get ready but we don’t have the expertise  And so on and so on… What do we hear from SMB leaders 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved5
  6. 6. As IT services become more critical to SMB’s and the market gets more confusing, the more leaders in SMB’s need a trusted advisor to partner with them:  In evaluating opportunities,  Helping them do the proper job of sourcing solutions,  Advise them on how to successfully implement technologies and systems  Council them in how to assure that business benefits are realized  Take direct leadership responsibility where the organization is lacking in capacity or leadership ability Bottom Line 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved6
  7. 7.  From Tech Republic – and IT research and publishing firm The vCIO collaborates with and advises clients' IT departments and performs the same functions as a conventional CIO. Those duties include formulating strategic IT goals, planning the IT budget, analyzing and reworking business processes and facilitating technology changes. The vCIO can help customers maintain their IT infrastructure -- keeping the lights on -- but can also provide more-forward looking services. For example, a vCIO can work with customers to plan a technology roadmap, identify opportunities to use new technology tools. If a client lacks an internal IT department or has a very limited IT staff, the client may grant wider decision-making authority and technology deployment responsibilities to the vCIO. 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.  From Wikipedia – quoting from PC magazine According to PC Magazine,[1] the Chief Information Officer, or CIO, is defined as the executive officer in charge of information processing in an organization. All systems design, development and datacenter operations fall under CIO jurisdiction. CIOs have demanding jobs as information systems in an organization are often taken for granted until something breaks down. The CIO is responsible for explaining to executive management the complex nightmare this industry has gotten itself into over the past 40 years and why equipment must be constantly retrofitted or replaced. Justifying new expenditures can be a difficult part of the job. What is a Virtual / Fractional CIO 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved7
  8. 8.  Fractional CIO's differ from traditional CIO's in that they serve as a working member of a company's executive management team as a contractor and may-or-may-not serve on the company's board of directors. A Fractional CIO, also known as a Part-Time CIO, Parachute CIO, or CIO on-demand is an experienced, multi-faceted professional who serves as the part-time chief information officer of a small or medium-sized business that otherwise could not afford or would not need a full-time executive to hold the position of chief information officer. A Virtual CIO or vCIO may have a similar role but the term virtual suggests that the individual is not present in the organization on the same basis as an employed executive. An Interim CIO is generally retained for a limited time period, often to oversee a specific project or to cover an interregnum. As with traditional CIO's, a Fractional CIO often helps with Technology Roadmaps, Business Process Improvements, and Business Technology Strategy. The key business benefit of retaining a Fractional CIO is that they provide the same expertise and capability of a full-time CIO without the associated level of overhead and benefits associated with adding another top level executive. Care, however, must be taken to ensure the skills of the fractional CIO align primarily with the needs of the business, and not weighted with technical expertise in order to achieve the best results. Fractional CIOs typically serve several companies and may-or-may-not engage in the day-to-day management of a company's IT staff or other resources. What is a Fractional CIO 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved8
  9. 9.  The Virtual or Fractional CIO acts as the management team’s expert in IT – The function could have direct or indirect control over the company’s IT function. – Often it is best to provide the Virtual / Fractional CIO direct authority for IT but they can also function in an advisory capacity to functional management (CEO/COO/CFO) who maintains operating responsibility  For small to medium sized businesses this person may not be a W2 employee of the company – They may be a consultant or contractor working on a retainer or hourly basis – Management’s objective in making this arrangement is to acquire long term and deep experience at affordable prices All that is a very verbose way of saying 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved9
  10. 10. What does the Virtual / Fractional CIO do 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved10 IT Strategy / linkage to business strategy Governance / Investment Alignment Controls, Security and Regulatory Compliance IT organization structure and staffing Budgeting & Cost Optimization Procurement / Vendor / Service Provider management Strategic project control (Business Case - Implementation Value realization (getting ROI for investments) A Virtual / Fractional CIO does for SMB’s what a full time CIO does for larger organizations. Management teams should look at them as first a trusted advisor, second as a strategic partner and third as the ‘go to’ executive to manage IT and get the strategic initiatives done
  11. 11.  Often SMB’s have junior and more technically oriented leaders in their IT organization. – Today’s environment requires experience managing multiple service providers, OEMs and vendors from purchasing experience to developing and managing contracts and SLA’s experience matters  Almost every function has unique needs for technology and IT, vendors are talking to the functional leaders and selling ‘one off’ solutions – Constituency management, business case development and review and the overall ‘architecture’ of systems and technology will likely be a make-or-break proposition as a company grows. It’s critical to make the right decisions to let best-of-breed solutions run or whether larger enterprise approaches are the right direction  Many companies face ‘first time’ implementation issues or are swapping out old and outdated technology after many years of use and lack the change management expertise to drive success and value from projects – It is crucial, in those cases to have the ‘been there done that experience’ close to the management team. – OEMs can bring implementation process, some best practice and configuration expertise but can’t run the program or drive the involvement, business change decision making that will lead to success and realization of benefits Why would smaller and medium sized businesses engage a Virtual / Fractional CIO 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved11
  12. 12.  There are a few ‘fractional CIO’ listings which can be dragged up by Google. Most are individual contributors who post their resume and key word Fractional CIO.  LinkedIn is a place to post a Fractional CIO job which can be coded for your area. – It is unlikely that you would want to pay for travel for the individual and telephone only relationships have limited value, so finding someone local is important. – Fortunately if you are in a major metropolitan area, there are likely to be a number of retired or semi retired CIO’s who may be interested and meet your needs. To find people with that expertise in LinkedIn use advanced search, put in key words Virtual or Fractional CIO and your zip code.  Some ‘staff augmentation’ firms will have connections with CIO’s who are in transition and may be able to offer referrals, however it is unlikely that they will offer that kind of service as part of their core business offerings How to find, select and engage with a Fractional CIO 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved12
  13. 13. 9/12/2016 Copyright: Crocus Hill Associates, All rights reserved13 For more information Additions, arguments, corrections or for a copy of this presentation: Contact us: Craig Bickel Principal, CrocusHillAssociates 612 978 3737 – Cell 612 216 2403 – Direct