Outsourcing IT capabilities has become increasingly popular in recent years. Taking this approach over the traditional one of building in-house IT capability has given organizations the ability to quickly adapt their technology as conditions shift and to shape their capability without the constraints of building a workforce. This approach allows small- and medium-sized businesses with limited resources to fill the gaps in their IT expertise.
The success of the outsourcing approach has led to its adoption across a variety of capabilities across the IT spectrum. Recently, it’s even been adopted toward a technology role more strategically embedded and influential than any other in an organization — that of a Chief Intelligence Officer (CIO). Here are how companies stand to benefit from an outsourced CIO.
Bypassing recruitment constraints
A CIO requires a large amount of industry knowledge, technical expertise, and experience to perform their role effectively. Unfortunately, roles with technical requirements are amongst the most difficult to hire, and the additional skill set required of a C-suite executive only makes things more complex. Given the shortage of individuals with the necessary credentials available, the complications borne of seeking and retaining staff can make the search for an appropriate in-house CIO nearly impossible. Contracting the services of an outsourced CIO makes finding the right person for the job that much simpler.
Fit for business purpose
As mentioned, organizational objectives often change, as well as business conditions and market behaviors. An outsourced CIO can be contracted to navigate particularly difficult times, or to achieve a distinct set of goals. While long-term embeddedness in an organization can provide advantages, contracting a CIO need not carry that level of obligation, and can be suited to particular business needs.
Measured return on investment
Having a CIO provides oversight regarding a business’s spend on technology, tying them to broader company objectives and overall strategy. Most IT functions are dedicated to keeping business processes running on a consistent basis. What the CIO brings to the table is a broader perspective that takes long-term consequences into account. Part of this is providing quantitative analyses on the return on any money spent on IT projects and tools. This enables these processes to better be integrated into overall company activity, enabling leadership to make more effective decisions based on business direction.
Bridge between worlds
The CIO’s role extends beyond simply making such numerical insights. As an executive-level leader, the CIO exists to link the often disparate worlds of senior leadership and an organization’s IT functions. Beyond just identifying which IT projects and activities are value-generating, the CIO is able to identify how to better integrate the IT domain with the broader activities of an organization and its strategic interests.
With a deep understanding of how technology can impact business functions, the CIO can identify opportunities to make logistical improvements or enhance current processes and procedures. Likewise, couched in a deep knowledge of an organization’s initiatives, they can steer efforts of the IT team toward aligning with those initiatives, acting as a true extension of the leadership team.
Ready for the future
A CIO also manages the IT aspects of a business with regard to that ever-tricky organizational aspiration: growth. With their knowledge of technological developments and industry trends, a CIO can chart a company’s path into the future, including what technological tools and platforms are needed to get there. Coupled with their understanding of the business’s strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities, they’ll be able to strategically invest in the right avenues to ensure optimal outcomes.
We at F1 Solutions believe that a strong case exists for contracting an outsourced CIO. Good leadership is hard to find, but the benefits are immense. Contact us today and chart your organization’s way into the future.