An Economical Way to Get the Expertise of an Experienced CIO

Lisa Detwiler
Lisa Detwiler
President
SSD Technology Partners
 

The pace of technology change continues to accelerate, providing opportunities for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) to transform their operations, enter new markets and create new business models. Business executives are responsible for developing the vision that will guide the organization’s efforts to take advantage of these new technologies.

Trouble is, many SMB leaders struggle to understand complex technologies and make effective decisions regarding IT investments and strategy. Without a solid background in IT, it’s hard to separate hype from reality and choose technologies that will deliver as promised. In addition, business leaders are often unaware of simple, cost-effective solutions that could have a big impact on their operations for a limited investment.

Business executives may turn to in-house IT staff to gain insight into the latest technology trends. However, IT staff typically have their hands full keeping up with day-to-day maintenance tasks with little time to identify and evaluate new solutions. Furthermore, technical personnel don’t always have the business perspective needed to guide technology decision-making.

That’s why SMBs can benefit from “virtual CIO” services. Virtual CIOs are seasoned IT executives who have executed a wide range of IT projects for diverse organizations. They have seen what works and what doesn’t, and understand how to map technology investments to business goals. While few SMBs would have the budget to hire a full-time CIO, you can use virtual CIO services as needed at a fraction of the cost of a CIO’s salary.

A virtual CIO will work closely with your executive team to:

* Identify technology trends that could impact the organization

* Evaluate IT-related decisions in terms of business strategy

* Minimize the risks associated with new technology adoption

* Develop policies and procedures for effective IT management

* Oversee the execution of IT initiatives to meet business goals

* Manage IT vendors and contracts to ensure cost-effective services

Virtual CIO services can be tailored to meet the needs of organizations of any size and any industry, covering everything from project management and reporting to regular consultations. This model also provides access to a proven leader who can drive strategy and provide the fresh viewpoint that comes from an outside perspective.

SSD provides executive-level strategy and planning services as part of Total IT Management solution. Our consultants will meet with you to discuss your business goals and technology pain points. We can also help you identify bottlenecks in your operations that could be relieved by technology as well as opportunities to increase productivity and grow the top and bottom line. Because we don’t represent any particular vendor or solution, we will provide an objective and cost-efficient opinion that maximizes your existing technology investments.

Technology can help level the playing field, but smaller organizations often face enormous obstacles when it comes to adopting the latest solutions. SSD’s virtual CIO services allow you to work with an executive who can help guide your organization’s IT strategy and oversee the implementation of that strategy in alignment with your business goals.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Detwiler, President joined SSD Technology Partners in 2006 as Chief Marketing Officer, and in 2014 she and her two partners Woodie Bowe and Nick Ewen purchased the company.   Detwiler holds an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Carnegie Mellon University. Lisa successfully led SSD through a difficult economy in 2012, recording the company’s greatest growth record in 31 years.

Lisa believes that our foundation for success does not come from fancy business buzzwords or the latest management fads. Success comes from behaviors and commitments to basic guidelines of how we operate as individuals and as a company; do what’s best for the client, practice blameless problem solving, seek to create win/win solutions, check the ego at the door, and communicate to be understood.

Lisa serves the community as a Board Chair of both the American Red Cross and the Delaware Better Business Bureau and has been a member of Wilmington Rotary Club for 10 years.

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