The vCIO Retainer Toolkit

Author(s): Fred Chagnon

The Info-Tech solution for having valuable, relevant, and practical engagements with your client each and every month.

The Problem: Running on the Value Treadmill

vCIOs have a tough job – not because they need to fuse their client’s business context with technology and not because doing so requires broad IT domain expertise along with deep industry experience in their given vertical. They have a tough job because they need to demonstrate this value month after month after month.

For vCIOs, showing value at every client touchpoint is not just a great idea, it is a business imperative.

When this high-touch service is paired with traditional MSP offerings such as end-user support and infrastructure management, the vCIO has a means to bring the big-issue items to their client’s attention and work together to develop the tactics necessary to solve them. That’s a great way to address the reactive stuff of course, and we certainly encourage those conversations. But vCIOs also have a duty to help their clients remain proactive as well, but how do they balance both?

The Solution: Layout the Program Well in Advance

What the vCIO needs to develop is a program of repeatable engagements that they can bring to the table at every meeting, demonstrating their commitment to their client’s continuous improvement and success. Have the discussion about last month’s issues, but always save some time to discuss the future. This is where Info-Tech’s library of research, published with all the tools and templates needed to get through these critical processes, is paramount to building and supporting vCIO engagements.

The vCIO Retainer Toolkit

Below is a sample monthly cadence that provides a list of projects to take to the table, along with the Info-Tech Research Group resources necessary to guide the partner through them.

January – IT Strategy Month

The task: Whether you’re working with an IT leader or you are the IT leader, you need to formally document the technology strategy for the year.

The resource(s):

February – Security Strategy Month

The task: Flesh out the IT strategy with a specific focus on cybersecurity, risk, and governance initiatives.

The resource(s):

March – IT Budget Month

The task: With the overall strategy defined for the year, the budget to realize the strategy should follow.

The resource(s):

April – Project & Portfolio Management Month

The task: Projects for the year are starting to take flight, but in a typical organization only 43% of those planned projects will be delivered. Help your client tune their PPM to maximize project execution and benefits realization.

The resource(s):

May – Disaster Preparedness Month

The task: Ensure that your client is protected from one of the most prolific cyberattacks of this decade: ransomware. Optionally, ensure that their DR strategy is up to snuff.

The resource(s):

June – Cloud Readiness Month

The task: DR strategies routinely expose opportunities to make use of cloud-based resources. Ensure your client has a specific strategy in place for using and governing cloud computing services.

The resource(s):

July – Data Governance Month

The task: Ninety-two percent of organizations we surveyed believe that data governance is worthy of ongoing investment. Help your client get the right data to the right people at the right time.

The resource(s):

August – Application Rationalization Month

The task: Help your client rationalize their application portfolio or, at the very least, refine their plethora of collaboration tools.

The resource(s):

September – IT Asset Management Month

The task: With the application portfolio somewhat refined, ensure your client has a handle on licensing and asset management.

The resource(s):

October – Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The task: We didn’t make this one up – cybersecurity awareness month is actually a thing, look it up! Jump on this theme by helping your client bolster their employees’ cyber awareness. We do this by leading the development of a training program that continuously educates the end users.

The resource(s):

November – Vendor Management Month

The task: Year-end is approaching either for you or for your vendors. It’s time to hone those vendor management skills before signing on the dotted line.

The resource(s):

December – Diagnostic Month

The task: It’s the end of the year. It’s time to check the pulse in order to make intelligent decisions on the year to come.

The resource(s):

Info-Tech can help along the way

As a member of the Info-Tech partner community, you can engage with the analysts that support each of the research artifacts mentioned here. These remarkable individuals are already engaged with IT leaders across the country, guiding them through the exact same initiatives. For partners with an advisory membership, tapping into their knowledge and insight through scheduled online sessions is par for the course.

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