Putting a face on a service or product can be a tremendous way to add value, create interest, appeal to authority, and really bolster a foundation of trust and reliability. Whether you’re selling a product and are using a celebrity to endorse it, or whether you elect to have a very visible and public figure-type executive with an “open door” policy, you’re attempting to use human interaction to lead the way in front of services, policies, or products.
This applies externally to customers and prospective clients, but also internally, as leadership and guidance are extremely important. There are many companies today—especially small or medium sized businesses—that are organized in a way that optimizes their staff, reducing their overhead. In many cases, this may leave them without an IT department, or perhaps with a limited access to tech consulting or part-time help. There are many services who will oversee your companies cloud storage, software implementation, network maintenance, etc.
Businesses That Benefit From Virtual CTO/CIO
Troubleshooting specific problems often entails a higher degree of expertise and a closer connection to the business if it’s to be done properly. For example, restaurant groups often use a point of sale system to process payments and to manage inventory. Situations like this, where you’re primarily concerned with one software system can lead to you rely on that software’s own support team, instead of looking at your entire operation. But any food service or retail type business needs to do far more than just accept payments—there are employee records to store, payroll to implement, documents to safeguard, backups, etc., many of these critical tasks require software systems to complete.
The same is true for fields like manufacturing or financial services, it’s easy to be drawn into a false sense of security by having decent tech support available from your primary software’s team.
The Case For Virtual Delegation of Information Systems
A much safer approach is obviously to delegate technical services to a company that specializes in such matters, and who can act promptly and efficiently. But there’s a further step your company can take that puts a face in front of the service, an interactive sort of support.
Many business interactions today are easily made virtual. Software developers can regularly use Skype for their meetings, even though everyone is in the same building. They're all busy and working on a variety of projects and tasks— and if we're being honest, face-to-face meetings can be unnecessarily long and chatty. Skype for Business is a good example of a tech service that needs professional oversight and management. Creative or production-based companies require virtual support, especially in technical matters such as large-file sharing, but also other subscription-based programs like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere.
With services like Virtual CTO/CIO, companies are electing one specific individual (or a small pool of individuals), to act as sort of a remote chief technical officer. While this is similar to outsourcing your network services to a consulting company, the added familiarity of working with the same individuals puts them in a position where they understand the culture and context of your ongoing needs.
Going back to the example of the retail business and use of POS software systems, apps, devices, user error is extremely common. Thus, inquiring with tech support (internally or externally) is a frequent occurrence. When it’s just one person on the phone with another, communicating the specific issue is one thing—the supporting tech representative doesn’t really have the ability to fully comprehend the context of the problem, or the culture of this particular establishment, both of which might lead to different solutions and strategies for solving a given issue.
Making Your Business Personal
This type service far exceeds mere troubleshooting. With a virtual CTO/CIO, your business is now in a position to constantly consult with an IT professional on all business technology matters, and conversely, your CTO/CIO is in a role that enables them to make suggestions, make inquiries—they might find themselves in a position to call a meeting and suggest some preventative measures. It’s time to go beyond simply outsourcing your IT services, and to bring them in as a part of your corporate culture and to realize the benefits of having them as a part of your team.