Big businesses have CEOs, COOs, CMOs, and more—a whole “C-suite.” Small business owners certainly qualify as CEOs, but we all know that that title often comes alongside Chief Bottle Washer. In a small company, almost everyone wears multiple hats.
But there’s one hat we suggest that small business owners shouldn’t wear—that of the chief technology officer or CTO. A small business owner may be a highly capable and successful doctor, lawyer, or architect, but technology is both too fundamental for every business and too massive of a topic to entrust to someone who isn’t steeped in the field...and dedicated to that single function.
Think about it for a moment. Technology underlies nearly every knowledge-based business. Doctors rely on electronic medical and health record systems, law offices need secure communications and document management software, and architects live and die by their CAD apps. Those are just the marquee systems—every company needs computers, printers, a network, Internet access, onsite and offsite backups, a phone system, and all the hardware peripherals that make it all work. Plus, essential as Internet access is today, it brings with it security concerns, especially when client confidentiality is paramount or government regulations require HIPAA compliance.
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Now consider how much someone would need to know to recommend, install, configure, maintain, and troubleshoot all of those systems, while keeping up on changes in the industry and what’s necessary to protect against the latest security problems, like the current epidemic of ransomware. And the recent shift toward remote work heightens every traditional risk with insecure home networks and unmonitored devices. Hopefully, you see why we say that the CTO hat isn’t one that can just be popped on and off.
Of course, a full-time CTO would be overkill for most small businesses. There’s plenty of work to do, but much of it is sporadic, coming primarily when new projects are in discussion and underway or emergencies pop up. The solution is a vCTO, or virtual CTO.
With Virtua Consulting’s vCTO service, we provide the CTO skills and experience that your business needs without the expense of a full-time, high-level employee. Some of the things a vCTO will do for you:
Provide an informed IT perspective in discussions of new projects to speed up decisions
Prevent purchases that aren’t best in class or are incompatible with installed systems
Ensure that cloud services offer synergies like single sign-on or integrations with current systems
Compare the budget for new purchases against increases in productivity and efficiency
Design a technology replacement plan that increases uptime and productivity
In the end, the utility of a vCTO is that you get someone who sees the big picture of how technology enables your company to operate at its best. That in turn leads to cost savings in the long run because it’s easier to set up technology right from the start than it is to tackle the onslaught of micro- and macro- issues that arise from disjointed, disorganized or misused systems and tools.
Contact us today to see how Virtua can become your vCTO.