A popular service offering from MSPs today is the virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO), the chief driver of all IT direction and initiatives. But many MSPs are jumping into the role without investing much time on strategy, leading them to make mistakes.
Before exploring the biggest vCIO mistake that MSPs face, let’s understand the nature of the role. The responsibilities of a vCIO include:
- Strategic IT direction
- Setting an IT budget
- Implementing new IT systems
- Reviewing and reporting on the state of the IT department
Why Do Your Clients Need A vCIO?
For many small to mid-size companies, employing a CIO is a necessity, yet not in their budgets. So a cost-effective alternative is outsourcing these responsibilities to a vCIO.
That’s where your MSP comes in. Your MSP provides the CIO services, without your clients having to invest a monthly c-suite level salary into the position. Clients also have access to your robust IT knowledge and resources.
Clients aren’t the only ones to benefit. With your vCIO service offering, you have an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with your clients, which is critical to bolstering your monthly recurring revenue stream.
It also gives you a competitive edge over other MSPs in the industry. As technology evolves and all MSPs have access to the same tools, the relationships you build with your clients give you a leg up on your competition.
Now that you understand the benefits of vCIO services for both you and your clients, explore the biggest mistake that MSPs face when developing the best service offering.
The Biggest vCIO Mistake MSPs Are Making
After you sign an agreement with a client to act as their vCIO, what’s your process for getting started? For many MSPs, they dive right into action, making changes.
However, the biggest mistake you could make when offering vCIO services is not gathering the detailed technology alignment information needed to make strong recommendations. You need the strategic background information about your client’s needs.
Taking action before fully understanding a client’s needs and the current state of their technology leaves vCIOs uninformed and off-track. When the background work isn’t done, vCIOs spend more time on the technical aspects of their role and trying to understand technology alignment, instead of providing strategic direction.
Employing a dedicated network administrator with access to each client’s IT information gives your MSP hands-on control of the client’s system alignments. The network administrator’s sole responsibility is to align each client's technology against the MSP technical standards. This process is performed on a regular basis, and the alignment results are given to the vCIO as the basis for building an IT roadmap for the client.
When you invest the strategic time into better understanding your clients and their needs, you’ll build a strong foundation for long-term partnerships. And with the help of a network administrator, your vCIO services increase in value and effectiveness.