Contracted CIO – An overview

When you spend more time fixing problems and catching up with technology than you do planning for the future.

Overview

Many businesses today have technology assistance, but lack technology direction. Large companies have executive level CIOs to help create and drive a vision for technology for their organizations. A vision that help not only ensure stability but long term viability in an increasingly fast paced information technology centered world.

Cleveland Consulting has spent almost 30 years solving technology related problems for companies who found themselves needing a solution. Our owner and president decided that it would be even better if we could help companies get in front of technology issues along with coming in once a problem has been identified.

We also run into companies who need help, but don’t necessarily need a custom solution. Sometimes you just need a seasoned partner to help you implement your plan.

We are now offering CIO (Chief Information Officer) level assistance for mission-driven small to medium companies who want to not just stay functioning, but plan and design systems for their future.

CIO?

There is a lot of confusion in the industry as to what the “C” level position should be for information technology. If you do a quick search for CIO vs CTO most search engines have a lot of articles to recommend.

For large companies this is an important consideration, and it seems obvious that a company committing to a hire at that level should be able to clearly identify what the goals of the position are. For smaller companies however the problem is even more fundamental.

Companies led by a small team don’t need to decide whether their executive level direction should be internal facing or external; process or infrastructure; strategic or hands on, they need someone who can be all of those.

This is where a seasoned executive level technology consultant can be a vital partner. Whatever you call them, you need someone who can take the burden of understanding and designing solutions for the entire information technology sector of your business off the finance, marketing end executive staff and help the existing leadership make informed strategic decisions that have the long term success in view.

A couple common questions

I already have tech support, how can a CIO help?

Great question! Tech support fixes and maintains (great tech support suggests) but for vision you need executive level foresight and collaborative planning. Great CIOs have experience looking above the fix and features to help your organization to leverage technology to not just be part of the operational overhead, but to also help you innovate in your industry.

How do I know I need a part time CIO?

When you spend more time fixing problems and playing catch-up in technology than you do planning for the future (and today).

What sort of services does a CIO provide?

While the services we can provide are as numerous as the industries and various challenges they face, here are a few of the areas we have helped past clients and some ideas to get you thinking of areas you may need assistance addressing.

  • Innovation & Growth
    • Mobility
    • Document management
    • Automation
    • Bar code integration
    • Asset tracking and tagging
    • Website strategies
    • Social media planning
  • Efficiency
    • Systems integration
    • Server platform selection
    • Desktop platform selection
    • Custom vs. Product based software solutions
    • Process design and management
    • Date warehousing
    • Inventory management
  • Security
    • Server security
    • Network security
    • Desktop security
  • Stability
    • Fault tolerance
    • Backup process and recovery plan
    • Fail-over plan
“Cleveland Consulting has made us more efficient and allowed our small staff to handle many of the requirements needed to grow from 1 camp at 1 location to more than 30 camps around the country,”  ~ D. Schilling

Tiers of assistance available

Visionary

This will include planned high level meetings (approximately quarterly) designed to provide insight and vision for technology goals and direction. Setting goals but ultimately passing the burden and responsibility of planning the implementation to another internal asset. There would also be monthly meetings on-site with staff and managers to continue to aid in the implementation of the vision and answer questions. Your CIO would also be available during business hours by email and phone to aid management in planning and implementation..

& Strategist

Building on and including all services in the visionary role, helping as a strategist your CIO would expect to participate in additional meetings (approximately monthly) to help not only set the vision and and insight, but help design strategies for an internal manager or some asset to fulfill the goals set. They would be on-site weekly to communicate and interact with staff and managers.

& Director

Building further on both the visionary and strategist role, your CIO would not only provide the vision and strategy, but would see the plans through to completion, selecting resources and managing. They would participate in and lead weekly meetings (or as necessary) and have a regular presence onsite. They would in essence be functioning as a fully participating and integral part of your team.

“Through numerous consultations, Cleveland Consulting allowed me to understand how software could eliminate many of the bottlenecks my business was facing,

 – D. Schilling