The majority of small businesses today are looking to scale their business with the use of technology. Many businesses hire IT partners to outsource the technology needs of their business. Although this is needed, it’s not a substitute for having a competent CIO. 

A very important question that small businesses should ask is: does my IT partner occupy the CIO seat in my business? This will help you determine if your IT partner can help in larger organizational goals related to using technology in your business.

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What does the CIO seat mean?

To put it simply, if your IT provider occupies the CIO seat in your business, they are the main point of contact for all activities that a Chief Information Officer would do. The CIO plays a very crucial role in many enterprises, here are some roles an IT provider would play in a CIO role in your business:

Managing software needs for the business: A CIO will ensure that the business is running on the best possible software to help automate and manage operations. To do this, the CIO would have to be aware of the best industry software for your business's specific needs. 

Technology policies: The CIO would also be the main point of contact for all technology policies within the company. This would include setting up and managing the technology infrastructure to ensure the business has adequate cybersecurity. 

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Why is it important for an IT provider to help with CIO responsibilities?

Many businesses, especially small businesses, cannot afford to hire a full-time CIO but are in desperate need of CIO services. Without the IT provider playing this role until the company can grow to hire a competent CIO, these responsibilities will likely go neglected for an extended period of time. This can lead to:

  • Lack of technology strategy: An IT provider who plays the CIO role will be an active stakeholder in the strategy of the business, especially anything involving technology. This is extremely important because without the IT provider’s input, the infrastructure of the business may not be aligned with the company’s future goals.
  • Mismanagement of IT staff: Without the input of an IT provider or CIO, your company may make the wrong decisions when it comes to hiring or firing IT staff. The IT provider is the most equipped contact to help you manage any technical staff in your business. Make sure to refer to your IT provider before making any major decision regarding the management of technical staff.
  • Lack of scalability: Without proper technical guidance from an IT provider or CIO, your business may not be able to scale properly. An IT provider who plays the CIO role will ensure that your business is primed for growth and that you will have the technology infrastructure to meet growing customer demands. 

Neglecting these responsibilities will hinder the growth of your business. To learn more about how you can work with an IT provider who can fulfill your CIO needs, take a free assessment here