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Develop a Virtual CIO Service Offering

Elevate your IT service from trusted technology operator to strategic technology partner.

You are struggling to find valuable work. With so many businesses undergoing a fundamental transformation to meet an increasingly digital world, practitioners in the IT business space should be filled to the brim with work – and yet many are struggling to get that work.

  • IT Consultants are constantly hunting for their next engagements.
  • MSPs are challenged with being seen as anything more than custodians of the network and its systems.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

A Virtual CIO is still a CIO in form and function. They must perform this function in a way that is repeatable and scalable across a variety of clients. With a tight service definition and a clear execution plan, a virtual CIO can address client uniqueness within the engagement without customizing how the engagement is delivered.

  • Virtual CIO is not just a label for a quarterly sales prospecting meeting. The virtual CIO is an acting chief information officer of the client’s organization. While there are changes in how the job is executed on a day-to-day basis, the full scope of what a CIO is responsible for is not reduced just because the resource is not full-time.
  • While the functions of a CIO do not change in a fractional engagement, the approach to fractional delivery must. Your delivery needs to have a defined execution plan that includes success metrics, deliverables, and a schedule of set engagements. When your virtual CIOs deliver a consistent engagement structure to all their clients, it simplifies their delivery and can address more clients.

Impact and Result

The IT Leader's role is indeed well-defined, which leaves no reason why it can't be offered as a service. Our approach to this is the following:

  • Use our research to determine the specific activities and deliverables needed to refine your virtual CIO offering.
  • Standardize these activities and deliverables in order to scale the delivery and make it easier to sell.

Develop a Virtual CIO Service Offering Research & Tools

1. Develop a Virtual CIO Service Offering

Use this research to determine the specific activities and deliverables needed to refine your virtual CIO offering. Standardize these activities and deliverables to scale the delivery and make it easier to sell.

2. Virtual CIO Service Design Workbook

Decide: Given the skills and competencies required to deliver this service, assess your team’s ability to deliver it.

Design: Ensure all your activities and deliverables are mapped back to customer pain points and desired outcomes.

Define: Ensure everything that is part of your standard virtual CIO offering is consistent and can be delivered by everyone on your team.

3. Virtual CIO Service Description Template

Use this template as a starting point for defining your own Virtual CIO Service offering.


Workshop: Develop a Virtual CIO Service Offering

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Service Decision

The Purpose

  • The purpose of this module is to reaffirm what a virtual CIO engagement is to the customer. Who is the customer, and what are their needs? And does your organization have all the capabilities needed to deliver on those needs?

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A true understanding of what virtual CIO is, what it is not, and whether the organization has the internal capacity to deliver on this. A realization of other advisory engagements the firm is equipped to offer.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Virtual CIO Service Assessment

  • Virtual CIO Service Assessment Results

Module 2: Service Design

The Purpose

  • The purpose of this module is to design the virtual CIO service using service design activities that clarify who your customer is, what their challenges are, and how you will resolve them.
  • The activity is aided by the use of the most common challenges and the resolutions we’ve assembled in our research and member interactions.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A true understanding of one or more customer avatars, and their unique problems and desired outcomes.
  • A mapping of specifically how your offering will resolve the customer’s problems and provide those outcomes.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Service Design – Problem Canvas

  • Completed Service Design Canvas
2.2

Service Design – Solution Canvas

Module 3: Service Definition

The Purpose

  • The purpose of this module is to scope and define each of the specific activities resulting from the service design.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An opportunity to add any missing pieces to the engagement by comparing the virtual CIO service offering against our management and governance framework.
  • Standardization of all set activities, defined in a way that they can be delivered consistently amongst all your current or future staff.
  • A chance to evaluate the full scope of the offering to determine if it is too large or too small in nature.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Virtual CIO Service Definition

  • Virtual CIO Service Definition Table

Module 4: Service Description

The Purpose

  • The purpose of this module is to fully describe and document the service offering in long form.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Articulation of the key benefits, use cases, typical delivery and customer journey, and customer obligations.
  • A source of truth that describes the full scope of the service offering to your sales staff, your delivery staff, and your customers.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Virtual CIO Service Description

  • Virtual CIO Service Description Document

Develop a Virtual CIO Service Offering

Elevate your IT service from trusted technology operator to strategic technology partner.


Analyst Perspective

Traditional IT services and support are a commodity, but advisory services are differentiating and in demand!

In the last decade, we’ve seen a surge in technology service providers (TSPs) offering advisory services of various forms. These advisory services, often under the moniker of “virtual CIO/CTO” or “fractional CIO/CTO,” are at times bundled into more traditional TSP offerings such as managed IT services and support, but pure-play virtual CIOs exist as well. It’s a bit like the Wild West – but what do you expect in an unregulated professional services industry?

This flexibility is exciting for TSPs because it presents the opportunity to define the service offering and differentiate themselves from their competitors. On the other hand, without normalization, TSPs are challenged with making this high-value, high-touch service offering a profitable endeavor.

The challenges are many. Too many inclusions make the offering broad and difficult to execute, and it’s difficult to deliver consistently and scale across multiple clients because they are, each one of them, unique.

So maybe there’s something to be learned from the regulated professional services firms. Lawyers and accountants are examples of outsourced firms delivering professional services in a consistent manner, scaled across multiple clients. They do this through a tight definition of their function and with a clear execution plan that the client agrees to.

Contained within this research is a way to define the function of a virtual CIO and create an engagement that is consistent for you while addressing the uniqueness of each of your prospects.

Photo of Fred Chagnon, Principal Research Director, Consulting & Technology Service Provider Industry, Info-Tech Research Group.Fred Chagnon
Principal Research Director
Consulting & Technology Service Provider Industry
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

You are struggling to find valuable work. With so many businesses undergoing a fundamental transformation to meet an increasingly digital world, practitioners in the IT business space should be filled to the brim with work -- and yet many are struggling to get that work.

IT Consultants are constantly hunting for their next engagements.

MSPs are challenged with being seen as anything more than custodians of the network and its systems.
Common Obstacles

vCIO is often seen as the savior. The prospect of a Virtual CIO (vCIO) seems to answer most of these challenges. It provides a retained engagement that allows MSPs and consultants alike to meet their customers at a strategic advisory level. But this is brave new ground and comes with its own obstacles:

    Lack of a vCIO definition: The concept of "vCIO" is new and not well defined.

    Non-standard approach: Many delivering vCIO are flying by the seat of their pants. There is no standard cadence, and there are no standard deliverables.
Info-Tech’s Approach

The IT Leader's role is indeed well-defined, which leaves no reason why it can't be offered as a service. Our approach to this is the following:

    Use our research to determine the specific activities and deliverables needed to refine your virtual CIO offering.

    Standardize these activities and deliverables to scale the delivery and make it easier to sell.

Info-Tech Insight

A Virtual CIO is still a CIO in form and function. They must, however, perform this function in a way that is repeatable and scalable across a variety of clients. With a tight service definition and a clear execution plan, a virtual CIO can address client uniqueness within the engagement without customizing how the engagement is delivered.

What is a Virtual CIO?

“When you need legal advice, you go to a law firm. When you need financial and tax guidance, you go to a CPA. These are practices that have been generally accepted as fractional services.

Similarly, when a company needs periodic guidance and governance in information technology and cybersecurity, that’s the sort of guidance we provide.” (Source: Tech Insights Podcast)

A technology-focused executive advisor delivered as a fractional service

Virtual CIO
  1. The full-time role of a CIO delivered in a fractional capacity. It is a retained service offered by IT and technology service providers and is appealing to small or mid-size businesses (SMBs) with smaller information technology requirements.
  2. A buzzword attached to technology-focused review meetings intended to inflate their actual value.
      Synonyms: vCIO, Virtual CTO, vCTO, Fractional CIO/CTO (Source: TechTarget)

Stock image of two coworkers looking at a laptop.

Virtual CIO is an opportunity for all IT service providers

Benefits for managed service providers (MSPs)
  • Increased value: Standard MSP offerings like remote monitoring and management or backups and data recovery are undifferentiating and on their own will not allow businesses to meet growth and client retention goals.
  • Increased contract size: Add 20 to 25% to the monthly recurring revenue (MRR) for existing managed services clients by layering a virtual CIO engagement onto the existing retainer.
  • Increased retention: Clients that engage with virtual CIOs renew more frequently and pay more MRR.
Benefits for IT consulting firms
  • Recurring revenue stream: A virtual CIO engagement opens up a stream of recurring revenue that complements the regular project income in a typical technology consultancy.
  • Increased exposure to opportunities: A virtual CIO is a trusted advisor that is close to the business and its stakeholders. The virtual CIO is uniquely positioned to seek opportunities for additional project revenue, and the client will generally consider them as the best proponent for fulfilling a project.
Advisor First!

A virtual CIO is, first and foremost, a trusted advisor. While a virtual CIO engagement can be a great way to discover opportunities to sell additional products and services, always be up-front with your clients about how you’re being renumerated. This transparency will preserve and possibly even build trust.

Many Info-Tech members have reported aggressive sales tactics from their IT service providers, disguised as “virtual CIO consultations.” Our advice to these members is to avoid any advisory engagement where the advisors have their own commercial targets. This puts their function as client advisors in direct conflict with their incentive to solicit products and services.

Virtual CIO engagements will evolve your offering from being necessary to being valuable

"Branded technical support will move from home users to small business users – and eventually to medium size businesses. Best Buy is already opening Geek Squads that focus on small businesses.” (Karl Palachuk, Service Agreements for SMB Consultants)

Make more with less. As you move up the value chain, the number of opportunities will be fewer but the value of each opportunity will be much greater.Virtual CIO
strategy & roadmapping
cybersecurity risk assessment
business continuity planning
planning & budgeting
program management
vendor management
Value has a glass ceiling. As long as managed IT services are all you provide, you will never be more than a trusted operator to your clients.Traditional Managed Services
system & network
monitoring & management
backup & data recovery
productivity applications
cybersecurity tools
end-user support
Necessary does not mean valuable. No one is saying that data backups and malware protections aren’t critical. Your clients need these services, but they can get the exact same services from your competitors.Break/Fix Technical Support
IT Maturity Ladder with levels of integration color-coded and named from bottom to top: 'Unstable', 'Firefighter', 'Trusted Operator', 'BUsiness Partner', and 'Innovator'.

Our approach to a winning Virtual CIO Service Offering

Column header with icon of a magnifying glass reading 'Assess your own capability to deliver the service'.

Decide

Given the skills and competencies required to deliver this service, assess your team’s ability to deliver it.
Column header with icon of a magnifying glass over a group of people reading 'Determine the specific activities and deliverables'.

Design

Ensure that all your activities and deliverables are mapped right back to customer pain points and desired outcomes.
Column header with icon of a map reading 'Standardize the experience and the outcomes'.

Define

Ensure everything that is part of your standard Virtual CIO offering is consistent and can be delivered by everyone on your team.
Column header with icon of a quill pen reading 'Document the Service Description'.

Document

Document the offering in a proper Service Description document.

Key deliverable:

Virtual CIO Service Description

A multi-page document that fully describes your Virtual CIO service, including:
  • Service Benefits
  • Use Cases
  • Your Approach
  • Deliverables

Sample of the Virtual CIO Service Description deliverable.

Blueprint Activities

Each step of this blueprint is accompanied by supporting deliverables to help you accomplish your goals:

Virtual CIO Service Assessment

A self-assessment backed against an Info-Tech framework to determine how ready your team is to deliver on the role of a CIO.
Sample of the Virtual CIO Service Assessment deliverable.

Virtual CIO Service Design

A service design activity to capture the customer’s challenges and desired outcomes and come up with the right set of solutions to assist them.
Sample of the Virtual CIO Service Design deliverable.

Virtual CIO Service Description Tool

his tool is used to take the activities and deliverables through a standardization activity to ensure your offering can be delivered with consistent high-quality.
Sample of the Virtual CIO Service Description Tool deliverable.

Case Study

Logo for Dataprise.
INDUSTRY
Managed Services & IT Consulting
SOURCE
Info-Tech Guided Implementation
Team refines offering; gains valuable boost to morale in the process

Dataprise provides strategic IT advisory and consulting as part of their fully managed services. They were, however, challenged with delivering this high-touch aspect of their offering with the same level of consistency and rigor that they delivered with their managed IT services. This challenge made the service offering difficult to scale, and presented challenges articulating the value of the service to new prospects.

Working with an Info-Tech partner advisor, the team of Virtual CIOs were guided through activities to refine and standardize their offering with a distinct set of activities and deliverables. They then developed an action plan to standardize their delivery into artifacts the entire team could manage.

Results

Even though a full re-launch of the Virtual CIO program would be months down the road, members of the Virtual CIO team were able to make immediate refinements to existing customer engagements as a direct result of having worked through the design process.

The most impactful outcome was in the rise of employee engagement after having worked through the process. The team felt more cohesion, recognizing the Virtual CIO offering was a service offering they were building together, and were now equally invested in its vision.

“People underestimate how stressful it is to not be fully equipped to do their job. Having the entire team work with Info-Tech not only made the team feel more equipped to deliver, but it also provided a boost to employee engagement and morale, and made the team feel more connected with each other.”

Tara Bartels
Team Lead,
Information Strategy Consulting
Dataprise
Photo of Tara Bartels, Team Lead, Information Strategy Consulting, Dataprise.

Insight summary

Overarching insight

A Virtual CIO is still a CIO in form and function. They must, however, perform this function in a way that is repeatable and scalable across a variety of clients. With a tight service definition and a clear execution plan, a virtual CIO can address client uniqueness within the engagement without customizing how the engagement is delivered.

Phase 1 insight

Virtual CIO is not just a label for a quarterly sales prospecting meeting. The virtual CIO is an acting chief information officer of the client’s organization. While there are changes in how the job is executed on a day-to-day basis, the full scope of what a CIO is responsible for is not reduced just because the resource is not full-time.

Phase 2 insight

While the functions of a CIO do not change in a fractional engagement, the approach to fractional delivery must. Your delivery needs to have a defined execution plan that includes success metrics, deliverables, and a schedule of set engagements. When your virtual CIOs deliver a consistent engagement structure to all their clients, it simplifies their delivery, and they can address more clients.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.""Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.""We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.""Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Guided Implementation

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

A typical GI is 8 to 12 calls over the course of 4 to 6 months.

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Introduction

Phase 1

Phase 2

Call #1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challengesCall #2: Assess your Virtual CIO capability

Call #3: Service Design: Problem space

Call #4: Service Design: Solution space
Call #5: Service Definition: Activities and Deliverables

Call #6: Service Definition: Standardized Approach

Call #7: Document the Service Description

Workshop Overview

Contact your account representative for more information.
workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

Day 1

What is Virtual CIO really?

Day 2

Service Design

Day 3

Service Definition

Day 4

Service Description

Day 5

Next Steps and Wrap-Up (offsite)
Activities

1.1 Overview of Virtual CIO at various levels

1.2 Identify the opportunity for a Virtual CIO service offering

1.3 Assess organization capabilities in CIO functional areas

2.1 Define the target customer persona(s)

2.2 Define the customer’s challenges and desired outcomes

2.3 Align how the service offering will solve challenges and provide outcomes

2.4. Identify the key activities and deliverables that are involved in solving challenges and providing outcomes

3.1 Gap assessment of service activities against ITRG framework

3.2 Describe and categorize activities and deliverables

3.2 Standardize all activities

3.3 Itemize list of outstanding deliverables

3.4 Refine the Virtual CIO customer journey

4.1 Discuss relevant Virtual CIO benefits and use cases

4.2. Review and document the customer journey

4.3 Review and document the key deliverables

4.4 Review and document the customer obligations

4.5 Discuss and document any special service terms

5.1 Complete in-progress deliverables from the previous four days

5.2 Set up review time for workshop deliverables and to discuss next steps

Deliverables
  1. Virtual CIO Service Assessment
  1. Service Design Canvas
  2. Defined problem statements/ “battle cards”
  3. Defined list of activities and deliverables
  1. Virtual CIO Service Definition Workbook
  1. Draft Service Description
  1. Completed Virtual CIO Service Description

Develop a Virtual CIO Service Offering

Phase 1

Decide on the Scope of Your Virtual CIO Engagement

Phase 1

1.1 Assess your virtual CIO capabilities

1.2 Design your service offering

Phase 2

2.1 Document the Virtual CIO’s routine activities

2.2 Complete the service overview

2.3 Describe the standardized approach

2.4 Document the service description

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Conducting a self-assessment of your organization’s ability and capacity to deliver on the eighteen functional areas of a small-business CIO.
  • Scoping ancillary advisory service offerings that could be offered along with, or instead of, your full-service virtual CIO offering.

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Consulting partner or IT service provider business owners and/or directors
  • Service delivery managers
  • Practicing or prospective Virtual CIOs

Virtual CIO is more than a meeting

Many IT service providers use the term “Virtual CIO” like a buzzword, invoking it to describe nothing more than a single recurring meeting.

The “Virtual CIO Quarterly Business Review”
You meet with your clients quarterly and you review tactical items such as the status of service requests and the reliability of their infrastructure. You listen to their current-state challenges and goals with a mind to map solutions to the products and services you sell.

Icon of a presentation board.

The “Virtual CIO Strategy and Roadmapping Session”
You arrange a half-day meeting once or twice a year when you facilitate a workshop to elicit the organization’s future-state goals and the current-state constraints that prevent them from reaching those goals. From this, you deliver a strategic plan involving technology improvement and implementation projects intended to relieve the constraints and achieve the organization’s goals.

Icon of a map.

The “Virtual CIO ___________ Assessment”
You perform an assessment on the organization – a network assessment, a dark web assessment, a security risk assessment, a phishing test, etc. You meet with your client and provide the results of the assessment with your recommendations on how issues can be resolved.

Icon of two people sitting at a table.

A valuable technology advisory engagement has all of these things. But any one of them alone does not define a virtual CIO.

In a quarterly session, the discussion should include questions about the client's cash flow, marketing initiatives, sales performance, internal projects, and competitor's moves.

Then it can become a session with reports on the execution of the IT strategy, the quarterly plan, and the plans for the next quarter. It should not be focused on the technology roadmap or IT-related issues, problems, and challenges. It must be focused on the business and its processes, numbers, and business terms.”

Denes Purnhauser
CEO
Managed Services Platform
(Source: “12 Mistakes MSPs make...,” Managed Services Platform Blog, 2014)
Photo of Denes Purnhauser.

Virtual CIO is more than account management

Venn diagram of the responsibilities of a Virtual CIO compared to an Account Manager. Shared responsiblities are 'Technical Recommendations', 'Process Improvements', and 'Hardware & Software Upgrades'.

Account Manager vs. Virtual CIO

Account managers and Virtual CIOs share many of the same responsibilities, but virtual CIOs typically dive deeper into customer issues and provide more strategic direction than account managers. But sometimes the difference between account manager and virtual CIO comes down to the size of your customer and their individual needs. (Source: Lionguard)

Trusted advisor first

One of the fundamental differences between a virtual CIO and an account manager lies in their incentives and motivations. An account manager will usually have a commercial mandate to grow the customer’s annual contract value (ACV). Their focus on resolving customer issues will be biased toward upselling services and solutions offered by their own organization.

As a trusted partner, a virtual CIO must be able to separate themselves from the selling and upselling role. They are focused on providing recommendations for the best possible solutions to customer issues, regardless of where those solutions come from.

A Virtual CIO with a commercial mandate to increase a customer’s ACV cannot play the role of a trusted advisor.

Use Info-Tech’s framework to put the CIO back in Virtual CIO

Sample of the Small Business Management & Governance Framework.The functions of a small business CIO are already defined.

Info-Tech’s Small Business Management & Governance Framework contains the 18 functional areas within which the small business CIO operates. Use this framework to determine your organization’s ability to perform the same functions.

Implied venn diagram of the three dimensions of value: 'Strategy & Knowledge', 'Standards & Best Practices', 'Tactical Experience'.The virtual CIO needs to perform highly in these functions in three dimensions of value.

“To be effective as a CxO you need to have a strong business background, you need to understand governance, and you need to be a technologist at heart.”

Photo of Ken Muir, Advisory Board Member, vCISO, LCM Security Inc.Ken Muir
Advisory Board Member, vCISO
LCM Security Inc.

Strategy & Knowledge

Are you bringing high-level strategic knowledge and advice to the functional area?
  • Do you understand how that area impacts the business’ bottom line?
  • Can you translate the business language in that area into technical language?
  • Can you provide advice in this area without using technical jargon?

Standards & Best Practices

How is what you’re doing in this area grounded or backed?
  • Are you bringing forward an industry-standard framework that adds value to this functional area?
  • Are you following a sequence or set of standard operating procedures that have been tested against those of many other similar organizations?

Tactical Experience

Do you have the tactical experience to deliver in this area?
  • Does your organization perform this function directly?
  • Can you maintain oversight of another resource performing in this area and reasonably understand challenges and risks?

1.1 Assess your Virtual CIO capabilities

1-3 hours

Input: Assessment Questionnaire (Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook Tab 2)

Output: Assessment Results (Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook Tab 3)

Materials: Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook

Participants: IT service provider business owner(s) and/or directors, Service delivery manager(s), Acting or prospective virtual CIOs

  1. Gather the participants for a one-hour group session.
  2. Go through each area in the Virtual CIO Service Assessment Tool questionnaire and answer the questions through the eyes of the resources delivering the engagements.
  3. Review and discuss the results. Do they accurately reflect your organization’s capabilities?
Sample of tab 2 of the Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook.Arrow pointing right.Sample of tab 3 of the Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook.

Download the Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook

Don’t underestimate the intangibles

The virtual CIO is an executive, not an experienced technician.

Intangible skills are just that – skills you can’t quantify with any tangible value. No assessment can accurately ascertain how effective or not you are. You just know.
  • People Skills: The CIO is a people person first and a technology person second. They must be able to negotiate (not just contracts), collaborate, and communicate in a way that is consumable for all audiences. These skills must be something the CIO truly enjoys and excels at, because when they’re conducting themselves effectively, they’re using these skills a lot!
  • Boardroom Protocol: A CIO, even a fractional one, should have a seat at the business table. And when they get that seat, there is a certain level of conduct that is expected. Know when to speak and when not to. Eliminate all technical jargon and speak only in terms of business rationale and outcomes. Manage up and communicate down.
  • Working Group Facilitation: Chairing a meeting or leading a working session is an effective way to get a group of technical or non-technical colleagues to reach a decision or solve a problem. Facilitation is about moderating, translating, and above all, room-reading, and it is a critical skill for engaging stakeholders.

“You have to have a broad set of people skills to overcome the binary cultural bias that people are either technical or not technical.

Because I do speak tech, I get a lot more work from non-technical folks. But I don’t speak tech to them – they value my ability to break technology down for them.”

Carlota Sage
Principal & CEO
Tulle Software, LLC.
Carlota Sage, Principal & CEO, Tulle Software, LLC.

“You need people that know boardroom etiquette from having been on boards themselves. People who know the kind of information that a senior executive is looking for to make decisions. People who know budgets and ROI, as well as technology.”

Andrew Reese, Trusted Advisor, vCISO, ReeseWeb, LLC.Andrew Reese
Trusted Advisor, vCISO
ReeseWeb, LLC.

Determine your next steps after completing the assessment

Example of a framework in which most areas are supported.All Systems Green

Ready to go in most, if not all, areas. Either you’re already using virtual CIO engagements (and well done!) or you should be. Nevertheless, the slides that follow will illustrate some smaller examples of technology advisory engagements that you may wish to add to your portfolio to provide options for prospects who don’t need the full-service fractional executive.

Example of a framework in which half of the areas are supported and the others fare less well.Targeted Improvements Recommended

Two outcomes are still possible here. First, you could shore up weak areas with training, coaching, or improved best practices so you can offer a full virtual CIO program. Second, you could focus on your strengths and develop smaller advisory engagements.

  • Consult the related Info-Tech research blueprints for assistance in these areas.
  • Consider any of the engagements in the slides that follow.
Example of a framework in which most areas are unsupported and not faring well.Focus on Advisory Engagements

If your scorecard yields average to low results in many of the functional areas we defined, we recommend using the slides that follow to scope an advisory engagement that is within reach.

  • Consult the related Info-Tech research blueprints for assistance in these areas.
  • Consider any of the advisory engagements in the slides that follow.

“Virtual CIO is certainly valuable as a separate engagement, but this engagement may only appeal to larger clients.

Still, when targeting smaller businesses there is benefit in training up on vCIO skills. We’ve seen that when MSPs develop these competencies, they build their own frameworks and ultimately learn how to humanize their delivery of services.”

Adam Walter
Co-Owner, President
Virtual C Inc.
Adam Walter, Co-Owner, President, Virtual C Inc.

This is not a “Virtual CIO or bust” situation

The Strategy & Planning Expert
Here your value is your ability to derive an impactful technology strategy through group facilitation and stakeholder interviews. You produce this as a semi-annual deliverable, and you work with a full-time employee at your client’s site (such as an infrastructure or development manager) to oversee the execution of the plan.
Requires:
  • IT Strategy & Governance
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Project Management
  • Requirements Gathering
  • Analytics & Reporting
Example of functions that would be affected by a Strategy & Planning Expert.
The Digital Marketing Expert
Do you bring specific expertise in digital marketing? Build a program to help your clients evaluate their online presence and ability to reach their audience through digital means. SEO evaluations, email marketing optimization, payment processing advice, and optimizing online ads – these are skills you’re probably refining running your own operation, so why not help your clients do the same?
Requires:
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Project Management
  • Requirements Gathering
  • Analytics & Reporting
  • Application Selection & Implementation
Example of functions that would be affected by a Digital Marketing Expert.
Be creative! There are all kinds of retained advisory engagements that can be assembled based on a subset of functional areas.

Advisory services can be very focused

The Security & Risk Expert
Could also be considered a virtual CISO lite. If your expertise is in cybersecurity and risk but you want an engagement that isn’t as fully comprehensive as a retained virtual CISO, there’s still value in building smaller engagements around information security strategy, awareness, and planning for disaster recovery and business continuity.
Requires:
  • IT Strategy & Governance
  • Security Strategy
  • Disaster Recovery Planning
  • Business Continuity Planning
Example of functions that would be affected by a Security & Risk Expert.
The Vendor Relations Specialist
Many IT consulting firms generate revenue through engagements around application selection and solution seeking (such as documenting requests for proposals). If this is your strength, turn it into a retained engagement.

Create a retained offering where your firm manages the relationships of all third-party technology providers. You commit to continuously evaluating all invoices, seeking optimization where needed. You work with your client to improve their buying power. And of course, you get first right of refusal on those solution-consulting projects.

Requires:
  • Vendor Management
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Requirements Gathering
  • Application Selection & Implementation
Example of functions that would be affected by a Vendor Relations Specialist.
Be creative! There are all kinds of retained advisory engagements that can be assembled based on a subset of functional areas.

1.2. Design your service offering

1-3 hours

Input: List of key PPM decision points, List of who is accountable for PPM decisions

Output: Prioritized list of PPM decision-making support needs

Materials: Whiteboard/flip charts, PPM Decision Review Worksheet, PPM Decision Review Workbook

Participants: Portfolio Manager (PMO Director), PMO Admin Team, Project Managers

The Service Design Canvas is a methodical approach to designing a service offering based on an understanding of a prospective client’s wants and needs while keeping in mind the breadth of your own organization’s capabilities (covered in the previous activity).
  1. Identify your client avatar.
    • Who is your ideal client? What do they need to do in their role?
    • What are their daily tasks (not specifically regarding IT or technology)?
  2. Document the client’s challenges.
    • What barriers are inhibiting them from achieving their goals or performing their duties?
  3. Document the client’s desires.
    • What outcomes would they like to see?
  4. Document your ability to reduce or eliminate their challenges.
  5. Document your ability to facilitate the outcomes they would like to see.
  6. Document the activities and deliverables that align to your ability to either eliminate challenges or provide desired outcomes.

Record this information in the Service Design Tool.

Download the Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook

The first step in developing your Virtual CIO service offering is to truly envision the target customer who will be procuring it.

Envision your ideal customer avatar

Stock image of a person working from home.The non-technical business leader
  • Key business decision maker. Usually an owner, president, executive director, or CFO.
  • May or may not appreciate the value of technology. Needs help understanding these connections and making wise technology decisions.
  • May further require assistance engaging, mentoring, and managing technology staff.
Stock image of a person working from the office.The hands-on technology leader
  • Highly technical pedigree. Works very hands-on. Former operations or development leader.
  • Understands the role technology plays in helping the business but may need help presenting that vision in business language.
  • Benefits from an engagement that focuses on strategy, roadmapping, and planning.
Info-Tech Insight

As a service provider you can serve multiple buyer personas. However, there are times when those buyer needs differ greatly enough that you may need to consider multiple service offerings. We see many partners offering CIO services in flavors that appeal to both technical and non-technical buyer personas, but they are specifically designed and targeted at these buyers.

Consider the size of your ideal client

Bar chart of 'IT Budget and IT Staff Size, Grouped by Corporate Revenue Segment. The trend grows with company size, and a magnifying glass hovers over the dip in 'Mid-Size'.
(Source: IT Staffing Diagnostic, Info-Tech Research Group, n=447)

Size Matters…

As with any advisory service, Virtual CIO is not a one-size-fits most engagement. Technology Service Providers find that customers of a different size have very different requirements of an advisory engagement.

Info-Tech recommends standardizing your offering for specific customer segments such as:

  • A single offering that targets customers of a specific size.
  • Multiple offerings that target a different segment.
The service design methodology that we present in this phase can be repeated for each offering that is developed.

As company size changes, so does the buyer persona

Buyer PersonaChallengesRole NamesKey Activities

Small

  • Principal/Business Owner
  • President
  • Executive Director
  • Small technology budgets.
  • Rarely see the value in a stand-alone advisory engagements from partners.
  • Technology Advisor/Consultant
  • Digital Advisor/Consultant
Service branding is important. An organization with no IT doesn’t need a “CIO.”
  • Technology roadmap
  • Software/SaaS selection
  • Hardware and software lifecycle management
  • Incident and problem management
  • Vendor management

Mid-size

  • President
  • Vice President
  • CFO or CTO
  • Advisory services are presented but add-ons to other Managed IT Services are perceived as low value throw-ins.
  • Virtual CIO/CTO
  • Fractional CIO/CTO
These organizations tend to have an IT function but benefit from strategic advisory and leadership.
All of the above, in addition to…
  • IT project and portfolio management
  • Technology personnel mentoring
  • Business stakeholder management

Enterprise

  • CEO
  • CFO
  • CIO/CTO
  • Advisory services are presented but add-ons to other Managed IT Services are perceived as low value throw-ins.
  • CIO/CTO Advisor
At this size and scale, the organization has an IT leader who may require a partner in specific areas such as cybersecurity.
  • Specific domain expertise in cybersecurity (vCISO), application development, or infrastructure (vCTO)

Fortune 500

  • CEO
  • Advisory services are presented but add-ons to other Managed IT Services are perceived as low value throw-ins.
  • CEO Advisor
Guides the CEO in understanding the connection between the external technology environment and the impact on their business.
  • Specific industry expertise and broad business and technology knowledge

Develop a Virtual CIO Service Offering

Phase 2

Fully Describe Your Virtual CIO Engagement

Phase 1

1.1 Assess your virtual CIO capabilities

1.2 Design your service offering

Phase 2

2.1 Document the Virtual CIO’s routine activities

2.2 Complete the service overview

2.3 Describe the standardized approach

2.4 Document the service description

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Describe the Virtual CIO service offering in terms of the specific repeatable activities and deliverables from which it is comprised.
  • Standardize the activities and deliverables into pieces that can be produced more rapidly and consistently by your delivery team.
  • Sequence your touch points into a realizable customer journey.

This phase involves the following participants:

  • IT service provider business owners and/or directors
  • Service delivery managers
  • Practicing or prospective Virtual CIOs

Virtual CIO offerings suffer from not being tightly defined

Failure to have a consistent approach, and a defined scope challenges both the sales and the delivery side of the house

Sales challenges

  • Non-standard approach: Your sales staff won’t be able to clearly explain the engagement’s lifecycle to prospective customers.
  • Ill-defined scope: Your sales staff will not be able to accurately quote the engagement, which risks underselling the value.

Delivery challenges

  • Non-standard approach: Your advisors will be flying by the seat of their pants and may appear disorganized in front of their clients.
  • Ill-defined scope: Your advisors may risk sinking time into areas of the engagement that would normally be out of scope or be otherwise billable work.

Info-Tech Insight

Your path to success will be service based, not asset based. If your engagements are only successful because of the individual heroics of your staff, you’re vulnerable. A bounded and detailed service description documents the process of execution, which will help you sell the value to the client and lays the groundwork for consistent delivery.

There is no “one way” to deliver Virtual CIO

…and that’s a good thing!

There are activities performed in IT Services and Consulting that are done the same way everywhere. Certain processes, assessments, and routines. No one wins clients because of the unique way they provide email, for example. These are the commodity services.

The concept of offering advisory as a service is still relatively new. What’s exciting about that is that it’s differentiating – it’s something you can offer that’s different from your competition, or more specifically, you can provide it differently than they do.

The challenge with differentiating/non-commodity services is that you can’t download the how-to of a website. Once you can, they’ve become commoditized.

In this section, we walk you through the build process of your differentiating service.

Stock image of apples.Stock image of a pie.

Additional Research

Sample of Priced to Win: Build an Optimized Pricing Strategy.

For a deeper exploration of cost-based and value-based pricing strategies related to commodity and differentiating offerings, see our research Priced to Win: Build an Optimized Pricing Strategy.

Document the offering in a Service Description

“The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” (Lee Iacocca, Former Executive, Ford Motor Company)
After reading through many service descriptions for several advisory offerings, these are the fields that are the most important!

1. Service Outline
1.1 Service Summary: Brief description of the service
1.2 Service Benefits: What the customer gets from the service
1.2 Common Use Cases: Help the customer align themselves to a common buyer problem

2. Approach
2.1 Service Lifecycle: What happens within the execution of a full cycle?
2.2 Recurring Activities: A brief list of the activities performed
2.3 Deliverables: A brief list of the deliverables that are involved
2.4 Metrics of Success: A list of the metrics (if any) that are used to measure the successful performance of this activity

3. Responsibilities
3.1 Customer Obligations
3.2 Provider Obligations

Sample of the Service Description.

The documentation snowball effect…

Once your offering is fully documented in a service description, it will bring clarity to both the sales and delivery side of the engagement.

The information captured in this effort will go a long way to improving the following supplementary documentation:

  • Sales pitch decks and marketing collateral
  • Service delivery policies, processes, and procedures
  • Service Agreements/Statement of Work

While we do cover the Service Agreement later in this research, sales collateral and procedure documentation are not covered. (Hey, we have to contain scope too!)

2.1 Document the Virtual CIOs routine activities

1 hour
Input: The ITRG Frameworks can help determine the specific activities within the engagementSample of the ITRG Frameworks.
Output: List of categorized activities filled out in the Virtual CIO Service Description ToolSample of the Virtual CIO Service Description Tool.

Materials: Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook

Participants: IT Service Provider Business Owner(s) and/or Directors, Service Delivery Manager(s), Acting or prospective Virtual CIOs

  1. Assemble the participants for a one-hour group session.
  2. Itemize the recurring discrete activities performed within the Virtual CIO engagement and list them appropriately within column B of the “Service Definition” tab of the Workbook. (These activities may be directly carried over from the “Service Design” tab.)
  3. Discuss these ideas with your team. Add or refine as needed. Use the following common Virtual CIO activities as examples to keep the discussion productive:
    • Development of technology roadmap (initial)
    • Technology standards alignment periodic review
    • Update technology roadmap
    • Monthly meeting with primary contact(s)/decision maker(s)
    • Disaster recovery/business continuity plan update

Even more ideas for set-pieces and activities can be derived from the following research note: The vCIO Retainer Toolkit

Download the Virtual CIO Service Description Template

What’s missing from your offering?

Use the framework to find holes in your engagement.

Ask yourself if there’s an aspect of your offering that would be derived from that area of IT Management & Governance.

Use our framework as a guide for the activities that a Virtual CIO performs

We believe strongly that our IT Management & Governance Framework for Small Business blueprint accurately showcases the areas of responsibility that a small business technology leader must cover. It should be possible to map all your activities to an area in the framework.

What’s missing from your offering? Use the framework to find holes in your engagement. Ask yourself if there’s an aspect of your offering that would be derived from that area of IT Management & Governance.

A framework pointing to the Virtual CIO Service Description Tool, and in front is the Activity Impact Area table.The “Activity Impact Area” tab in the Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook is your key to finding any possible areas that may be missing from your CIO-themed advisory engagement.

2.2 Complete the Service Overview

1 hour
Input: List of activities documented in the Virtual CIO Service Description ToolSample of the Virtual CIO Service Description Tool.
Output: Draft of the first section of the Service DescriptionSample of the Service Description.

Materials: Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook

Participants: IT Service Provider Business Owner(s) and/or Directors, Service Delivery Manager(s), Acting or prospective Virtual CIOs

  1. Assemble the participants for a one-hour group session.
  2. For each activity listed, make note of the following:
    • Description: A description of the service item.
    • Activity Type: The activity is one of the following:
      • A standard recurring meeting
      • A non-standard meeting
      • A static deliverable
      • A living deliverable
    • Client Benefits: The specific benefits or outcomes of the service from the customer's perspective. Used to provide content for sales support collateral.
    • Provider Benefits: What benefits are there for the provider in this activity? These don't make it into the service description, but they’re worth reflecting on.
    • Tier: If the service is categorized or tiered (e.g. Essentials, Core, Premium).

Download the Virtual CIO Service Description Template

Standardize your advisory interactions

Address customer uniqueness within these interactions, but keep the interactions the same across your client-base
  • Standard Meeting
    Recurring meetings with a set agenda.
    E.g., meetings with your stakeholder, or mentoring sessions with staff.
  • Ad-Hoc Meeting
    One-off, non-recurring meetings.
    E.g., training sessions, board meetings etc.
  • Static Deliverable
    Deliverables that are produced and experience infrequent change.
    E.g., plans, roadmaps, reports, policies, dashboards.
  • Living Deliverables
    Documents that experience frequent change.
    E.g., tracking inventories, issues, and action logs.
Stock image of two coworkers looking at a tablet.

2.3 Describe the standardized approach

1 hour
Input: List of activities documented in the Virtual CIO Service Description ToolSample of the Virtual CIO Service Description Tool.
Output: Draft of the first section of the Service DescriptionSample of the Service Description.

Materials: Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook

Participants: IT Service Provider Business Owner(s) and/or Directors, Service Delivery Manager(s), Acting or prospective Virtual CIOs

  1. Assemble the participants for a one-hour group session.
  2. For each activity listed, make note of the following:
    • Frequency: How often does this activity take place within the course of the service offering's usual lifetime?
    • Duration: How long does the activity take to execute (elapsed time)?
    • Trigger: What is the event that triggers the execution of this activity?
    • Deliverable: What deliverables are associated with closing this activity?
    For each deliverable, make note of whether the deliverable exists already, whether it exists in some form, or whether it needs to be created.

Download the Virtual CIO Service Description Template

Make note of the state of your deliverables

Green

Deliverable exists in a format that the entire delivery team can access and make use of consistently. No further action required.

Yellow

Deliverable may closely resemble the vision or requires validation before being fully adopted as standard. Evaluate and modify until satisfied.

Red

Deliverable does not exist.
Create and refine until satisfied.
Deliverable color-coded to the adjacent definitions.Stock image of someone placing colored sticky notes.

Virtual CIO is a journey, not a solution

Evaluate the “Trigger” column and determine if your activities are sequenced in an order that can be consumed by the customer over the course of the engagement
Consider the following milestones or produce your own.
  • STABILIZE
    Focus on activities and deliverables that assess, identify, and solve clear and present challenges
    e.g., assessments, diagnostics, inventories
  • STANDARDIZE
    Focus on establishing best practice processes and procedures
    e.g., Establishment of policies; implementation of procedures such as disaster recovery
  • OPTIMIZE
    Focus on using technology or data to drive value back into the business
A road with milestones associated with the items on the left.

2.4 Document the Service Description

Input: Problem Space section of the “Service Design” tab, List of activities documented “Service Description” tabSamples of the Virtual CIO Service Description Tool tabs Service Design and Service Description.
Output: Draft of the first section of the Service DescriptionSample of the Service Description.

Materials: Virtual CIO Service Description Workbook

Participants: IT Service Provider Business Owner(s) and/or Directors, Service Delivery Manager(s), Acting or prospective Virtual CIOs

  1. This is an offline activity to be done by a designated scribe once the “Service Description” tab in the Workbook has been completed.
  2. Use the following guide to inform each section of your service description:
      1.1 Service Summary: This section is a boiler plate description of Virtual CIO. Put the text in your own business language and voice.1.2 Service Benefits: This is a roll-up of the Solution Space of the “Service Design” tab, as well as the specific benefits listed.1.3 Common Use Cases for Virtual CIO: This is mostly boiler plate, but if your specific target use case is not present, then add it. Also these use cases should be ordered into those that you perceive to be the most likely.

Download the Virtual CIO Service Description Template

2.4 Document the Service Description (continued)

Describe Your Unique Approach
    2.1 Milestones or Customer Journey

    Describe the phases that you identified during the previous activity.

    Describe the engagement in milestones that make it possible for the customer to see themselves using the service.

    2.2 Key Deliverables:

    Using the Deliverables column (M) of the “Service Description” tab, document the key deliverables – the ones that provide the most value to the client (strategies, dashboards, etc.).

    2.3 Customer Obligations

    List the specific obligations that the customer has to make the engagement successful.

Stock image of a worker in a large workspace.

Download the Virtual CIO Service Description Template

Research Contributors and Experts

Kishor Bagul
Founder, Executive Advisor, and eCXO
Cloud and Things Inc.

Michael Ball
Founder
Team CISO

Tara Bartels
Team Lead, Strategy Consulting
Dataprise

Rick Bawcum
Founder & CEO
Cimatri

Chris Bedel
President & CEO
Bedel Security

Troy Cheeseman
Practice Lead, Infrastructure Research
Info-Tech Research Group

Iain Gardner
Director & Principal Consultant
Dataflux (Pty) Ltd.

Matt Giarratani
Senior Vice President &smp; CISO
Win Win Consulting LLC.

John Halliday
Technology Governance Specialist
Freelance

Brian Jackson
Research Director, CIO Practice
Info-Tech Research Group

Alvin McBorrough
Founder & Managing Partner
OGx

Ken Monblatt
Vice President of Consulting
Tilson Technology Management

Ken Muir
vCISO
LCM Security Inc

Myles Olson
Chief Revenue Officer
Managed Services Platform

Denes Purnhauser
Founder & Executive Board Member
Managed Services Platform

Andrew Reese
Trusted Advisor & vCISO
ReeseWeb LLC.

Carlota Sage
CEO & Principal Consultant
Tulle Software & Services, LLC.

Alan VanTassel
Executive Vice-President
Stored Technology Solutions Inc.

Adam Walter
Founder & Co-Owner
Virtual C Inc.

Scott Young
Principal Research Director, Infrastructure
Info-Tech Research Group

Bibliography

Algya, Michelle. "How to Level-up Your I.T. Operations Using VCIO Services." The Jmark Journal of Information Technology. N.d. Web.

Dowden, Holly. "What is a Virtual CIO and Why You Need One." nTiva, January 23, 2020.

Dicker, William. "An Examination of the Role of vCISO in SMBs: An Information Security Governance Exploration." Georgia State University, May 2, 2021. Accessed June 22, 2022.

Schlissel, Eric. "What does a vCIO Do?" GeekTek, September 30, 2021. Accessed November 16, 2020.

Harpur, Richard. “Leadership Guide: Your First 60 days as a CIO.” Pluralsight, 25 Oct. 2017. Accessed 16 January 2021.

Hazelman, Doug. "The vCIO Process: What MSPs Should Know." MSP360 Blog, June 13, 2019. Accessed August 2021.

Jackson, Brian, host. “Panel - Rise of the Virtual IT Executive.” Tech Insights with guests Michael Ball and Fred Chagnon, 17 August 2020.

Maister, David H. and Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford. The Trusted Advisor.

Managed Services Platform. "We are vCIO." YouTube. December 6, 2019. Web. Accessed Nov 16, 2020.

McCall, Jay. “Avoid the ‘Over-Promise, Under-Deliver’ Trap with vCIO Services.” XaaS Journal, 3 July 2019. Accessed 24 Jan 2021.

McCall, Jay. “Business Are Outsourcing IT – Stand Apart with vCIO Services.” XaaS Journal, 9 March 2020. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

McCall, Jay. “Best Practices That Should Be A Part Of Every Virtual CIO Offering.” XaaS Journal, 2 July 2019. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Monocello, Mike. "4 Virtual CIO Services Mistakes You Must Avoid." XaaS Journal. June 20, 2022. Accessed Jun 24, 2022.

Monocello, Mike. "Is Specializing as a Cybersecurity vCIO the Right Move for your Business?" XaaS Journal. June 21, 2022. Accessed June 24, 2022.

Moore, John and Ben Lutkevich. “Definition: vCIO (virtual CIO).” TechTarget, June 2015. Accessed Jan. 2021.

"7 Mistakes to Avoid When Offering vCIO Services." Narmada Insights, July 19, 2019. Accessed May 2022.

"Steps to kickoff vCIO Services." Narmada Insights. Oct 9, 2018. Accessed Jun 2022.

Palachuk, Karl. Service Agreements for SMB Consultants. Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc., Jan. 2018.

Purnhauser, Denes. "How to Close 11 vCIO Contracts in 3 weeks." Managed Services Platform Podcast. Nov 20, 2015.

Purnhauser, Denes. “7 Requirements for a Scalable VCIO Offering.” Managed Services Platform Blog, 11 January 2016. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

Purnhauser, Denes. “Trusted Advisor or Technician – Which Pays More?” Managed Services Platform Blog, 28 Nov. 2014. Accessed 15 November 2020.

Purnhauser, Denes. “vCIO: The Ultimate Guide.” Managed Services Platform Blog, 10 July 2020. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Purnhauser, Denes. “12 Mistakes MSPs Make With Their VCIO Service.” Managed Services Platform Blog, 20 Nov, 2014. Accessed 24 January 2021.

Walter, Adam. "Why vCIO Programs Fail." Humanize IT, 3 January 2020. We. Accessed 16 November, 2020.

Wilson, Bernadette. “How to Build the Best vCIO Offering.” XaaS Journal, 2 July 2019. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

“The Definitive Guide to vCIO Services.” Lionguard, 2020. Accessed 15 May, 2021.

“Virtual CIO Standards & Training Manual.” TruMethods, 2020. Accessed 29 December 2020.

"Is there money in running a vCIO program? Yes!" Vciotoolbox blog, 23 June, 2020.

"The Role of the Modern vCIO." Vciotoolbox blog. 17 September, 2021.

"4 reasons why vCIOs are vital during the COVID-19 Crisis." Vciotoolbox blog. Jun 23, 2020.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Introduction
  • Call 1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges

Guided Implementation 2: Decide on the Scope of Your Virtual CIO Engagement
  • Call 1: Assess your Virtual CIO capability
  • Call 2: Service Design: Problem space
  • Call 3: Service Design: Solution space

Guided Implementation 3: Fully Describe Your Virtual CIO Engagement
  • Call 1: Service Definition: Activities and Deliverables
  • Call 2: Service Definition: Standardized Approach
  • Call 3: Document the Service Description

Author

Fred Chagnon

Contributors

  • Kishor Bagul, Founder, Executive Advisor, eCXO, Cloud and Things Inc.
  • Michael Ball, Founder, Team CISO
  • Tara Bartels, Team Lead, Strategy Consulting, Dataprise
  • Rick Bawcum, Founder & CEO, Cimatri
  • Chris Bedel, President & CEO, Bedel Security
  • Troy Cheeseman, Practice Lead, Infrastructure Research, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Iain Gardner, Director & Principle Consultant, Dataflux (Pty) Ltd
  • Matt Giarratani, Senior Vice President & CISO, Win Win Consulting LLC
  • John Halliday, Technology Governance Specialist, Freelance
  • Brian Jackson, Research Director, CIO Practice, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Alvin McBorrough, Founder & Managing Partner, OCx Consulting
  • Ken Muir, vCISO, LCM Security Inc.
  • Myles Olsen, CRO, Managed Services Platform
  • Denes Purnhauser, Founder & Executive Board member, Managed Services Platform
  • Andrew Reese, Trusted Advisor & vCISO, ReeseWeb LLC.
  • Carlota Sage, CEO & Principal Consultant, Tulle Software & Services LLC.
  • Alan VanTassel, Executive Vice-President, Stored Technology Solutions Inc.
  • Adam Walter, Founder & Co-Owner, Virtual-C Inc.
  • Scott Young, Principal Research Director, Infrastructure, Info-Tech Research Group
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