CIO Advisory Services

Making IT strategy a reality.

CIO Advisory Services

Managing can be complicated and frustrating, especially if your current  IT strategy isn’t meeting expectations or you don’t have the right IT leadership in place.

An organization needs good leadership in key roles — a CEO sets the company vision and direction, a CFO manages everything finance, and a CMO oversees marketing. But perhaps the most important role is that of a CIO (Chief Information Officer) who needs to efficiently manage how you store, transfer, access, and secure the information needed to run the business and support these other key roles.

Increasingly, however, companies are engaging with external services rather than adding another C-suite position to the payroll. This provides a level of flexibility, agility, and broader expertise than they would get with a single person.

You’re paying for technology to further business goals and grow the company. CIO Services helps you build and maintain an efficient and cost-effective IT environment so you can reach those goals. We’re proud to be a business partner, not just an IT vendor that fixes computers. We understands the business of within an organization. 

Where Can CIO Advisory Services Help?

IT Strategy, Roadmap and Budget Development

Even small companies need an IT strategy, an IT roadmap, and an IT budget. In the rapidly-changing world of IT, your team cannot afford to only focus on reactive, tactical work to keep your IT running smoothly —  too much is at stake.

As an experienced resource with a team of skilled professionals,  we can work with your team to build an actionable strategy that they can execute and manage the day-to-day. We also work with your leadership to understand departmental needs and develop a clear IT roadmap that will lead your organization into the future.

The IT roadmap is a practical, day-to-day plan that includes the projects, timelines, and required resources needed. This roadmap also enables the IT Director to create an IT budget making it easier to plan annual and quarterly budgets.

Areas our CIO Advisory support can bring extra value to your IT include:

  • Collaborating with key business stakeholders to understand your priorities. A true IT strategy must be based on business goals and initiatives, not just IT initiatives.
  • Building an effective application inventory. We need to know what you’re already working with. Read: The Magic of An IT Application Inventory
  • Discovering areas of technical deficiency.  Identifying applications, services, or equipment that is out of maintenance, at the end of their lifecycle, or needs to be upgraded.
  • Evaluating opportunities to consolidate applications. Removing overlapping or redundant feature sets can increase IT performance.
  • Clarifying where you can leverage new and modern IT tools. Adopting more efficient or updated tools can save money and improve employee productivity.

What to Expect from an IT Director

An IT Director is not only responsible for strategy, road maps, and budgets, but they are part of the overall management of an organization.  Learn the 6 Things an IT Manager Should Being Doing

As part of our CIO Advisory services, we make sure all stakeholders understand the plan and importance of enhancing your IT infrastructure. We use an IT scorecard that transparently documents and shares progress so you never have to wonder if the CIO services you are paying for, are working for you.

IT Policy & Procedures Creation

Is your company subject to stringent compliance and/or regulations? IT is critical to meeting those compliance standards. Our industry-specific compliance experts build an IT infrastructure that not only meets compliance standards, but make it’s easy to prove your compliance.

Regardless of the compliance standards requirement, we:

  • Give you the tools you need to answer customer security audits and insurance questionnaires
  • Create a baseline security practice within the business to eliminate risk 
  • Align business expectations with IT practices
  • Ensure the identification and implementation of standard IT practices
  • Deliver consistent employee experience
  • Gain efficiencies by ensuring things are done the same way every time

As your company grows, standard policies and procedures become more and more critical. They allow you to scale the business by ensuring IT systems remain clean and organized, creating a more secure operating environment.

We help you develop policies and standard operating procedures aligned with best practices like ISO27001 and COBIT.

IT Audit & Compliance Verification

IT audits give you an opportunity to verify that your company is following your defined policies and procedures, inform IT leadership about where they need additional training and coaching, keep IT systems organized and secure, and prepare staff for upcoming compliance and regulatory audits.

Conducting regular internal audits has many benefits and generally consists of demonstrating that procedures are being followed for task such as:

  • Onboarding/offboarding personnel.
  • Ticketing metrics 
  • Computer security policies
  • Creating and testing backups
  • Patching servers
  • Reviewing antivirus and phishing statistics
  • Ensuring encryption is deployed and functional

As part of our CIO services, we conduct these IT policies and procedures reviews to determine whether they meet IT standards like ISO27001 or COBIT. We also play the “internal auditor” role and help companies understand gaps that require focus over the coming year.

IT Risk Assessments

Your IT environment faces risks both internally and externally. Identifying and navigating those risks requires experience and vigilance.

We provide an analysis of your organization’s security position and recommendation any improvements needed in the security and management of your IT environment. We take a layered approach to reviewing any IT environment, starting with the network, continuing with application security and ending with a review of endpoint (computer/laptop) security.

During these assessments, we focus on:

  • Whether the team applies security configuration policies appropriately
  • If applications have correct security features, 
  • If HR census matches IT active accounts
  • If you’re following the principle of least privilege
  • Whether endpoint security is regularly monitored and remediated
  • Employee education

That last one is huge. We recognize that your employees are your first line of defense in a security breach. Hackers realize this too and often direct phishing attacks at employees. We help educate employees to identify and report phishing scams. As part of our CIO advisory services risk assessment, we take a closer look at employee security education and work to improve it to reduce further risks.

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IT Vendor Management

Vendor Management can overwhelm even the most organized IT leadership. No one piece of technology does it all. Your company relies on a whole suite of tools from different vendors — each with its own licensing, maintenance, subscription, integration, and security to manage. It is very likely every application has a different renewal date, and many vendors require a 60 or 90-day termination notice.

If someone isn’t proactively managing these contracts, things can get out of control fast. And you can end up spending money on technology you no longer use or letting a license lapse, bringing operations to a halt. You might be spending money on new features that you’re already paying for elsewhere.

Our CIO Advisory services will help:

  • Streamlines your vendor management so everything stays up-to-date with no surprises
  • Save you money by eliminating redundancies and getting the most out of the tools 
  • Ensure vendors continue to meet business needs by eliminating unused components and services
  • Keep your vendors accountable for what they promise
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