vCIO has become the latest buzz word generated by the Managed Service Providers (MSPs) industry. The IT services delivered by many MSPs have almost become a commodity, solely focused on the technical aspects of hardware/software reselling, project hours and technical support. In order to drive value beyond this, the concept of a vCIO was created. In theory, vCIOs act as outsourced IT Directors. In reality, many vCIOs were Account Managers who have been elevated to the vCIO status. And while those vCIOs may prove helpful and can assist with managing the basic IT needs of a business, true IT Leadership is much more involved.
IT Leadership at its core focuses on understanding vision to best provide strategic direction and aligning IT services to accomplish the values and objectives of stakeholders. IT Leaders take the time to truly learn about an organization. They learn its long-term business goals, not just the goals the IT Department. They know the key players and understand the policies, procedures and regulations that govern the business. They are are focused on all this, while being aware of security and protecting the people and data that make the business.
IT Leaders are understand what it takes to run your business, not just today and tomorrow, but next year and into the future. No offense to our IT friends and partners, but this is a big leap for most Account Managers.