For many CEOs, the technological tools their company uses are just that: tools. They hire people to take care of the technology and rarely give it much more thought.
• There’s a breach of the network by a hacker
• Valuable company data is lost
• Malware causes the tools to become unusable
• A competitive firm gains a competitive advantage through better use of technology
Obviously, a busy executive can’t spare the time to be concerned with the minutiae of his company’s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. But the instances shown above are NOT minor – they all can have a major effect on the business.
So how can a C-Level executive close the gap – be free from worrying about day-to-day details of the company’s technology, but also be in the loop enough to well informed, and affect strategies for the company’s IT?
The short answer is, a Chief Information Officer. It is the CIO’s bailiwick to ensure that the company has the technological tools at their disposal to get their work done, protect the company’s data, be prepared to resume business quickly after a disaster, and guide the company towards its stated goals.
Not every company has a CIO, of course. They may not be able to justify the expense of hiring a qualified CIO, or maybe the company hasn’t brought technology into their corporate strategy – yet. Sometimes it take an event like the ones listed above to spur action on this, but why wait?
For many companies, an IT Consultant can act as a “virtual” CIO. Without the cost of adding a CIO to the staff, an IT Consultant can assess the health of the company’s IT Infrastructure, and suggest options for protecting the network and making sure it stays up-to-date, and also make sure that the updates are appropriate in the context of the company’s growth plans.