5 Key Responsibilities of a World-Class vCIO


November 18, 2020

A world-class vCIO has five responsibilities to eliminate gridlock and put your IT in the fast lane.

For starters, they reduce technology frustration and negative internal dialogues like this:

Okay, why is this stupid machine updating now? Great, it’s locked up, and I’ve got a Zoom call in five minutes.

No, it’s restarting. I’ve got zero time for this. So much for working from home and getting anything done.

Is this related to the VPN issue earlier this week? Our IT department sent an email about this after it got reconnected, but I may have ignored the follow-up.

Following the steps to use OneDrive correctly is so distracting. 

Oh yeah. Every time I log in, I’m supposed to click “Start” on the bottom left, type “OneDrive,” then go to the lower right-hand corner of my screen and click on the blue cloud icon.

No way, my machine is ready. It’s a miracle! Perhaps it heard me cussing and decided to play along?

But now there’s no volume, and my camera doesn’t work.

Unpredictable IT environments irritate everyone with hiccups and delays that directly affect your bottom line. And the moods of your employees.

Flimsy systems also increase vulnerability to cyberattacks.

Erratic IT systems don’t materialize overnight. They evolve by default rather than by design.

Don’t worry. Help is on the way with your Integris vCIO.


What is a vCIO?

An experienced vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer) is similar to a financial planner, insurance advisor, or CPA. Each orchestrates specific tasks that protect assets, maximize performance, and reduce risk.

They take a similar approach to managing your organization’s digital assets overseeing several different but highly interdependent technology disciplines:

  • Network
  • Cloud
  • Cybersecurity
  • Business Continuity
  • Unified Communications
  • Compliance and more

This integrated methodology drives growth, risk reduction, and responsive IT systems your employees will love.

You’re probably saying, “Wait, I thought I was researching managed IT services?” You are. We’re talking about vCIO because it’s over-hyped and under-delivered in the MSP marketplace.

A best-in-class vCIO might be the missing ingredient causing you to change providers more often than you have to. Or making your employees suffer road rage even when they’re not in traffic.

Here’s a quick review of five critical success factors you cannot afford to overlook.


5 Key vCIO Duties

#1 – Strategy

The strategy is ground zero. Your Integris vCIO will tie your plan and budget to a proven IT process based on industry best practices and standards.

Learn More: Technology Standards

They plan the work and work the plan to accommodate your short, medium, and long-term goals with data-driven recommendations.


#2 – Meeting Cadence

Your Integris vCIO meets with you and your Technology Planning Committee regularly: quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.

vCIOs are great planners who keep you on track. And they’re pleasantly persistent in securing face-to-face client meetings with crucial IT stakeholders.


#3 – Documentation

Creating, managing, and updating Network Diagrams, IT Roadmaps, and IT Project Management Plans takes time and discipline.

When you add extra work related to the administration of software maintenance agreements, licensing, warranties, vendor directories, and subscription renewals, your Integris vCIO is practically conducting “super-human” activities to help you:

  • Stay ahead of the technology lifecycle
  • Future proof your IT
  • Advance your business continuity
  • Make your technology more user friendly
  • Protect you from cyber liability

Does your MSP include comprehensive documentation included in their vCIO plan? Find out. It creates a lot of overhead expenses that many MSPs are unwilling to bear.


#4 – Regulation & Compliance

Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. If Ben were around today, he would add regulation and compliance.

Integris vCIO will assist with the following industry frameworks:

  • CCPA
  • GDPR
  • ISO
  • NIST
  • SOX

TCDI Security Compliance has an exhaustive list of additional examples.

Since security and compliance are constantly changing, there is no way to be 100% compliant 100% of the time.

This moving target is another area where documentation can be your best friend. If you have a breach or a legal incident, proper IT system documentation can be used as proof of due care to lower your liability.

Reliable documentation strengthens your case if prospective clients require you to sign a Business Associate Agreement.


#5 – Experience

Is your vCIO an executive with at least 20 years of MSP and corporate IT department experience? Or a junior-level account executive?

Many MSPs employ commissioned salespeople who deliver vCIO “Lite.” At Integris, our vCIOs are seasoned non-commissioned consultants. If you grow with us, they grow with us. This factor creates an extra level of accountability.


Mastering the Learning Curve

Aren’t you glad the world has subject matter experts and proven systems to manage all of these complicated, moving parts?

I certainly don’t have this skill set. Instead, I enjoy the fruits of a sound vCIO practice whenever I log into the Integris network. It’s fast, secure, and convenient, and everything gets backed up.

Does your team have the same experience?

We look forward to helping you evaluate the merits of vCIO, answering any additional questions, and being a sounding board in your educational journey.


Jed is a Solution Advisor at Integris who has specialized in MSP solution development, sales, and marketing communications since 2003.

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