Fractional CIO

Our Fractional CIO service provides the skills and experience you need to turn IT into a powerful tool to transform your business and achieve your goals.

What is it?

There is a disconnect between how large businesses and the smaller businesses look at IT use within their business — a disconnect that puts the smaller business at a disadvantage.

Large businesses will look at IT as being a transformative faCIOr within their business — specifically they will look at how IT can be used to enact digital change, such as improving efficiency through finding new ways to interact with customers, being more ready to take advantage from opportunities, and managing and controlling risk.

The smaller business tends to look at IT as a mix of communication tools (emails, websites) and ways to store documents, and the staff within those businesses tend to look at themselves as users of software.

The upshot of this is that the larger business is able to get more advantage out of IT investment than the smaller business, but this is almost always down to a matter of outlook and perspective. Specifically, larger businesses have better access to experts that can advise on IT strategy — usually this means having an expert CIO on the board.

A CIO is someone who has a wealth of experience across two areas: the technical aspects of IT, and how those technical aspects should be “infused” into the rest of the business in a way that is sympathetic with how customers want to interact with the business, how staff need to work hand-in-glove with themselves and with customers, and in-line with the businesses objectives and available resources. This is done by having the CIO spend time with management, staff, customers, partners, and suppliers in order to fully understand the way the business operates.

However, the reason why smaller businesses don’t have a full-time CIO on their boards comes down to one of cost and utilization. A good full-time CIO will cost upwards of £120k per annum, but not only is there this cost, but there likely isn’t enough work for a full-time CIO in the smaller business.

Our Fractional CIO service is a “pay as you go” CIO.

You can use as little or as much as you want, but you get the same skills, experience, as expertise as you would from a full-time CIO. Importantly, the work of a CIO requires a top-to-bottom, left-to-right thorough understanding of your business. You get the same advantage in that you get the same overview, oversight, and expertise as you would from a full-time CIO — the only difference is the engagement.

At It’s What’s Next IT, we believe that this is an important service to offer SMEs, because smaller businesses are traditionally significantly underserved by their IT strategy, and there is no reason why they cannot get the same advantage as larger businesses.

Our Recommendations?

Having a working relationship with an exprienced and proficient Fractional CIO will give you confidence that your IT will support the changing needs of your business over time.

You'll know that your business has a culture that can "lean-in" to supporting you and your team build and run continuously improving IT systems that act as bedrock for your growing business.

IWN-IT Messenger: Chatting With Eddie (A Software Robot)

Training and Programes

1-to-1 Virtual Lunch

As a social enterprise, we believe in the maxim that if we each do well, we all do well. One 1-to-1 Virtual Lunch programme helps SME business owners use IT to innovate and pivot, increasing their resilience to economic challenges. Delivered over Zoom, and free of charge.
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30 IT Thoughts in 30 Days

An email delivered programme over 30 days, designed to help SME owners reflect on how IT is used within the business. Take it slow, and see what 'percolates up', rather than be targeted or goal-led.
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The Office of 2022

An email delivered programme over 30 days. In June 2020, we ran a series of workshops with local SME business owners about what they thought The Office of 2022 might look like as a result of this sudden shift in working practice.
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Blog Posts

By Matthew Reynolds on 16 August 2020

Everyone is 'going digital’, but just what does that mean? (2020 Edition)

"Digital transformation" can mean something very specific, and helpful, to the smaller business
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The Difference Between IT at a FTSE 100 Business and at Your SME? Strategy.

Implementing an IT strategy is, at some level, just an issue of mindset
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Remote Working and Black Swans

The way that we work and our relationships with employees, suppliers, and customers has changed forever
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Your “Data-Driven” SME

Every action within our business results in some data that can help us make better decisions