“I am already receiving vCIO services…” This is the standard answer I get when talking to business owners who have been sold outsourced vCIO services with their MSP contracts. What most folks do not realize is that the same thinking/process that the MSP used to scale the MSP related services were not used for the vCIO services. If it was scaled like the related services, the contract would have been more expensive. Because of this fear, many MSP are selling something, they really did not count the cost for and in actuality are offering account management services instead of true vCIO services.
True vCIO services require necessary budgeting to get results. It is assumed that a vCIO is the one taking care of everything IT-related (management, oversight, budgeting, vendor management, projects, etc), and the hours monthly quickly add up and most MSP contracts do not accommodate for this. Because the customer assumes this is what they are getting (vCIO taking care of all things IT), the MSP cannot afford much time delivering said services and end up under-delivering on their vCIO promises in order to stay profitable. A vCIO services company like Outsourced CIO, LLC (OCIO) can assist with creating a budget and communicate the value of said services.
Partnering with OCIO means you are gaining access to a framework focused solely on vCIO services. This brings standardization, proper plans and processes to across your IT ecosystem. These frameworks also have streamlined communications built into them so you are not going to have to ‘pull teeth’ to contact your IT resources.
Outsourced CIO, LLC is not in competition with your IT service provider. In actuality, they should be working together to ensure the best possible service to the customer. The reality is that most MSP is in competition with each other to the point that customers jump ship from one to the other based on cost and customer service levels. OCIO comes to your IT initiatives and ensures that whoever you are working with is completing the best possible level of work that was promised in your SLA. Many MSP’s find this threatening and instead fight the entire process or drop the customer, proving the point that they were never really able to handle vCIO services or committed to them.
Another benefit of outsourcing your vCIO needs is that OCIO is all about consultative sales (selling solutions) and vision with stories. To do this, OCIO must have a deep understanding of your business before solutions can be presented. If the vCIO’s purpose is to make the client’s business more competitive in the marketplace, then solutions should benefit the client, not the MSP. We see this in endeavors like preferences when it comes to solutions and applications which tend to be based on profit margins or residuals versus industry best practices and standards that most MSPs pitch.
Finally, the power of outsourcing is seen in how OCIO delivers services. As there are many benefits we could draw attention to, we want to focus on a few niche items. We manage all our activities in one place, all the IT documentation, memos, projects, databases, plans and budgets through automation and collaboration. We also differentiate between ongoing projects and activities through regular reviews and audits. Because we have a deep understanding of your business, we are tapped into the pulse of your business and know exactly where you are headed and what you are trying to accomplish. Again, because we ask questions about your cash flow, marketing initiatives, sales performance, internal projects and competitors moves etc, we have our hand on the thermometer to provide a competitive edge as a service as promised. We are having business conversations not tech discussions. At OCIO we have found that when we spend time on questions and going deep into your business we are better able to serve our clients, but they too also feel understood. By changing this one thing about our communication (consulting vs selling), it differentiates us from most MSP vCIO offerings.