CIO Options, LLC                                                               


Shared CIO -- CIO as a Service

The Dilemma 

Small and Mid-size Companies 

Over the last 20 years larger, larger companies have created the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) in order to define, develop and manage a forward looking strategic technology plan. The CIO’s role is not to perform technology services directly, but to understand an organization’s needs and find solutions that align with the strategic business goals and tactical requirements. In short, the CIO enables the IT function to expand beyond daily problem solving and towards supporting the strategic needs of the corporation. The trend has been for smaller companies to follow suit. 

The truth is however, that there are differences between the skills required to be an effective CIO in a smaller company and those required to succeed in a large one. 

First, an effective small/mid-size company CIO has to have experience and be comfortable working in an environment where resources are constrained. This requires being able to make trade-offs and to deal with issues such as the fact that
Cloud Computing
or  SaaS applications might be more cost effective than building a Data Center and managing a complex infrastructure.

Secondly, large company CIO’s typically are accustomed to getting things done by working through layers of management who supervise people  dedicated to supporting specific technologies (e.g. servers, networks, financial applications, etc.). Small company CIO’s have to get many of the same things done, but in a much more streamlined, hands on environment.

While both large and small companies need the strategic “view to the future” required for IT to effectively support the company’s need for information; smaller organizations need a CIO experienced in dealing with the constraints and realities of their business. 

CIO Options
can provide that experience to companies not yet able to make the investment in a full time CIO.

Early Stage Companies

It is an indisputable fact that proper direction and application of technology often play a key role in enabling early stage and small companies to grow. Despite this fact, most of them have little more than an IT system administrator or “network guy” on staff.

While necessary, neither provide the strategic “view to the future” required for IT to effectively support the company’s need for information about their customers and/or operations; both of which are critical to optimizing decision making. This dichotomy is particularly vexing given the opportunities for capital preservation presented by
applications and Cloud Computing.

Early stage companies may not have the resources for a full-time CIO, but the need exists nonetheless.

The Solution

CIO Options staff members have substantial specific experience providing IT services to emerging as well as small and mid-size companies. Past career successes have enabled us to offer executive level services to companies looking to take advantage of the benefits of a strategically focused IT function without  incurring the high costs associated with a full-time CIO. 

By “sharing” an experienced, effective CIO with other organizations, it is possible for a company to derive the benefits of a highly capable employee, without having to bear the full burden of the costs.

CIO as a Service (Role and Potential Deliverables)


  • Stay Engaged with the Business Decisions Process to Ensure IT          Applications and Technologies Enable the Process
  • Stay Conversant with Your Businesses Goals and Strategies
  • Recognize and Make Recommendations to Address Technology            Issues with the Best Solutions Available
  • Ensure Technology Problems are Minimized and Resolved Before        Causing Impact
  • Ensure Your Organizations Day-to-Day Operational Technology         Needs are Met.

  • Sample Deliverables:
    • SaaS / Cloud Computing ROI Analysis 
    • Develop/Review Multi-Year IT Strategic and Tactical Plans
    • Clear Migration Path Current to “Future”     State”
    • Data Integrity Analysis ( System Of Record)
    • Software Application Selection /Technology Review
    • Evaluation of Technology  vs. “IT Best Practices” and Competitors
    • IT Budget Creation and  Management
    • Regular Executive Needs Assessments
    • Technology Procurement and  Contract Negotiations (Pricing and SLA)

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