Fractional CIO / Virtual CIO

According to PC Magazine, the Chief Information Officer, or CIO, is defined as the executive officer in charge of information processing in an organization. At a minimum, usually 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, replaced or moved to the cloud. Whatever the case, justifying new expenditures can be a difficult part of the job – do more with less is usually the mantra.

Increasingly, CIOs are involved in creating business opportunities through information technology, especially as digital transformation rapidly becomes part of an enterprise. Collaborating with other executives, effective CIOs are often leading this digital transformation across all functional areas of the business.

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, often to oversee a specific project or to cover an interim period. 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 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.

Adaptivity offers Fractional and Virtual CIO support. Call Adaptivity today for more information.

CIOs can no longer afford to sit around simply absorbing the change that filters through their organizations. Instead, CIOs themselves should work to drive change at all levels of the business. How to do it? Understand the steps needed to create change in the first place; factor corporate culture into your plans; pace yourself; and fight to deliver tangible business outcomes. The Wall Street Journal CIO Network.