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How every business can benefit from a Strategic Technology Adviser

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Jonathan Arena

Jonathan Arena
President and Founder of White Clay Technology

Technology has become critical to the successful operation, productivity, and growth of all businesses; however, improper technology implementations and lack of technology oversight can have crippling effects on a business.

Due to its cross-functional nature, technology teams have become de facto leaders of change in an organization.  While many companies usually have a tactical I.T. resource who keeps their technology running, they often lack access to a senior level strategic technology adviser who has the knowledge & experience to lead or manage the business aspects of technology.

A Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the ideal solution.  The challenge for most small and mid-sized businesses is they simply cannot afford a full-time CIO.  Those responsibilities often end up on the shoulders of the business owner or another senior leader in the company, taking them away from their primary responsibility of revenue generation.

Instead, businesses in this situation should consider using a fractional CIO.

A fractional CIO is an affordable alternative to a full-time CIO.  Having a fractional CIO provides you with an accessible, knowledgeable, and strategic expert who understands technology as well as business.

Five key areas where a business can benefit from having a fractional CIO include:

  • SAVE MONEY: Most businesses are overpaying on some aspect of their technology, I.T. vendors, or resources. This can be for your cloud services, telecommunications fees, software, licenses, or more.  These areas may also be limiting your ability to spend in areas that are needed, such as cyber security.
  • IMPROVE DECISION MAKING: Most small to mid-sized businesses do not make their technology decisions strategically. They are also not always familiar with all the choices available to them.  This can lead to disjointed technology which will end up costing more to fix as the business grows.
  • BUILD I.T. ACCOUNTABILITY: A critical blind spot of many businesses is the health of their technology systems and applications. Improving visibility over events, incidents, availability, responsiveness, and capacity will help identify trends, improve processes, and reduce both technology & human failures alike.  Improved visibility can also lead to a stronger cyber security posture.
  • REDUCE CYBER SECURITY AND OTHER TECHNOLOGY RISKS: Businesses of all sizes are at an equal risk of a cyber-attack. Aside from being prepared for your own piece of mind you must also demonstrate to your customers, prospects, vendors, partners, and even legal authorities that you are implementing best practices to minimize your risk of attack.  There are also non-cyber risks that affect businesses including accidental data loss, system outages, human failures, and other unforeseen issues that require proper planning to prevent business interruptions.
  • OPTIMIZE YOUR TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS: Many I.T. teams report to a non-I.T. manager within the business to save money. In addition to their primary duties, the non-I.T. manager is typically ill equipped to address the needs of their skilled technicians or to make effective hiring decisions.  This non-I.T. manager is unlikely to be able to effectively lead the team through a technology outage or lead a complex technology project through to successful completion.  This attempted cost saving decision will lead to higher employee turnover, a loss of tribal knowledge, increased risk exposure, reduced I.T. team accountability, and increased outages, all of which have a lasting impact on customer experience & retention.

If you are faced with any of these issues, or simply need strategic guidance, White Clay Technology can help.  Based in Wilmington, Delaware, White Clay Technology provides strategic technology services to small and mid-sized businesses through experienced fractional CIOs.  Our areas of expertise include technology & operations management, cyber security, disaster recovery, and compliance.  Our mission is to help small and mid-sized businesses solve big technology problems, so you can focus on your business goals.

Jonathan Arena, CISSP, ITIL, CSM is a recognized technology, cyber security & disaster recovery expert. He is the President & Founder of White Clay Technology, as well as a published author.  Jonathan is also a technology, cyber security & data privacy professor at Wilmington University.  He serves as a cyber security advisory board member to several local universities.  Jonathan was named a “Delaware Achiever & Innovator Under 40” by the Delaware Business Times.

For more information on White Clay Technology call 302-486-3000 or visit their website at: https://www.whiteclaytechnology.com.

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