Virtual CIO Services

Leverage the IT expertise of Cyan’s Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO).

IT strategy is critical to any successful business. You must formulate governance plans and strategies, as well as accompanying policies and procedures, to enable your organisation to achieve its strategic vision, support growth, manage risk, and exhibit responsible financial management.

This overview provides an insight in to what you can expect from the Cyan Virtual CIO Service.

What is a Virtual CIO?

A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the most senior technology executive inside an organisation. The role of the CIO is to oversee IT strategy and align the people, processes and technologies that support business objectives and goals. From information security to customer experience, the CIO will look to mitigate risks and drive business growth.

This is a leadership role, so the CIO is someone who focuses on vision and insight rather than someone you’ll find in the server room. Although they possess expert technical knowledge, it’s not uncommon for CIOs to have more of a business background, and this is essential when aligning strategy to operational needs.

The CIO is seen as the ships navigator, carefully planning the route ahead and steering the business safely through the seas of internal and external technology change. They will work closely with other C-level executives, senior managers and business departments to establish buy-in and drive that change.

Today especially, CIOs will have a focus on digital transformation and what that means for an organisation – both now and in the future.

The Virtual CIO (vCIO)

As the CIO has many business-critical responsibilities, the risks are consequently vast. They are often tasked with heading up crucial IT projects that are essential to the strategic and operational objectives of an organization. Failure can result in serious detrimental impact to business – and can even damage reputation. It’s therefore crucial the person responsible for making these key decisions has the relevant skills, knowledge and experience. This, however, comes at a price.

The average salary for a CIO is circa £96k per year (source: July 2018). This is beyond the budget of most small and medium sized businesses. The result is that key IT strategic decisions are shared across senior management teams and often become the responsibility of staff who do not possess the relevant skills, or experience, to oversee these decisions. This, in turn, forces companies into making short-term tactical IT choices based on a specific pain or need, without considering the long-term impact to business.

Introducing the Cyan Virtual CIO (vCIO) service

The Cyan vCIO service will help you to make impactful, important technical decisions, overcome the challenges and pitfalls, and design a roadmap for the future. You will know what your business needs to take it to the next level, we will build and execute the plan to ensure the technology supports this growth. All within a comprehensive service, tailored and priced to your needs and budget.
Popular areas in which our vCIO service can take responsibility include:
  • Data security and privacy, cyber protection, business continuity and risk management
  • Regulatory control and management of any governance environment (eg GDPR)
  • Business-critical system integration and/or development - such as finance systems, CRM, ERP, Web Applications
  • Defining the useful life expectancy of your existing technology
  • Formulating IT budget to ensure that your technology meets all your company’s needs, even as it evolves
  • Aligning your business and people with the rapid technology changes occurring around it/them
  • Ensuring operational efficiencies
The service is delivered as a simple monthly subscription, or ad-hoc as and when required.

Meet Mark Child - Cyan’s Virtual CIO

Mark has some 25 years of systems experience and has led teams delivering IT across all sizes of organisation from small, single-site firms to multi-national enterprises.

As Vice President of Information Systems at Qlik Technologies Inc, Mark grew their IT function from a team of 6 supporting 150 people across Europe to, 9 years later, a team of 100+ supporting the 2,500 staff of a public (NASDAQ) company in 28 countries with full responsibility for all infrastructure, applications and systems globally.

mark child cyan's virtual cio

The demands of such hyper-growth could only be met with excellent leadership, fiscal acuity, attention to detail, and through a talented and motivated team of technicians, developers, analysists and project managers – plus the wider “virtual” teams of contractors and service providers.

Business always comes first for Mark – this is not about technology for technology’s sake but about enabling and meeting business objectives and needs. IT is constantly evolving, and the role of the CIO is as much about managing the change that comes from that evolution and providing organisations the space to be able to take advantage of new capabilities.

Prior to his time at Qlik, Mark led consulting project teams in systems implementation and has experience across many industries and sectors in CRM, ERP and other line of business applications.

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