Information technology's role in manufacturing is gaining momentum. However, many businesses still end up using hit-or-miss solutions that end up wasting money and resources. Why is this? — Because their current IT companies aren't helping them plan for the future. With a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) and a Strategic IT Plan, your manufacturing business will be prepared for what's coming.
Why Do Manufacturers Need a vCIO?
A vCIO can serve as your company's chief information officer. They will advise on what IT solutions you need now to keep your technology running efficiently, with an eye to the future. A vCIO will also help you cut IT operating costs, confirm that your technology is running securely, and that it enables your people to do their best work. If you don't have an internal IT department or your IT staff is very limited, you can turn over the broad decision-making authority and technology deployment responsibilities to your vCIO. The difference between a vCIO and other advisors is that your vCIO will take a complete view of your company, including your budgetary and business goals. They will develop a Strategic IT Plan to get you where you need to be now, and want to be in the future, in the most cost-effective way.
What Can You Expect From Your vCIO?
A Thorough Analysis of Your IT Environment: The first duty for your vCIO will be to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your technology, staff, and operations so they can provide a personalized IT plan for your business. Your vCIO will perform an overall assessment of your manufacturing company's work environment, including what hardware, software, networks, and business processes you employ. This analysis provides them with a clear picture of ways to improve your IT system to ensure that it's aligned with best practices and security standards. Strategic Technology Plan: With an understanding about which technologies will benefit your business, they can advise on and implement an IT plan that aligns with your company's unique needs and goals. The vCIO can build a technology roadmap that incorporates opportunities to utilize your existing technology as well as identify areas where new tools would be most beneficial both now and in the future. This will include cost/benefit considerations and define the total cost of ownership for significant IT investments like your ERP system. They will translate this information into actionable steps that comprise your customized technology roadmap. This strategic technology plan will direct how to use your existing IT infrastructure more effectively and prepare for future needs. Anticipate The Need For Next-Generation Technologies: Understanding manufacturing industry trends and what technologies are coming down the road is an essential duty for your vCIO. They will analyze the impact these coming changes could have and determine when to invest in the right technology so you can optimize your return on investment. Your vCIO will apply their expertise to leverage next-gen technologies that will benefit your manufacturing company. With the ability to predict industry trends, they can provide you with the edge over your competition enabling you to succeed. What Should You Look For In A vCIO? When considering a Managed Service Provider make sure they have a qualified vCIO on staff who has the ability to:
Provide professional guidance on new technology that supports your manufacturing priorities.
Leverage the best IT tools to achieve your strategic objectives.
Develop an IT product roadmap that takes you from today to 3-to-5 years from now.
Effectively align your Strategic IT Plan with your budget.
Oversee the smooth transition to new technologies.
Deliver regular reports on the functionality and security of your IT system.
Develop and implement a backup and disaster recovery plan with actionable steps to prevent disruptions to your manufacturing processes.
Creating an IT Strategic Plan is important for every type of business, including manufacturing firms. To compete and succeed, you must adopt a unique strategy that addresses the variety of technologies being used today and what's to come tomorrow.
Where Can You Find A vCIO In Illinois Or Wisconsin To Help You Plan For The Future?
For the help you need, contact adNET Technology Management. We're a Managed IT Services organization that provides a wide range of IT support solutions for manufacturing companies in Wisconsin and Illinois. Our purpose is to support, guide and innovate to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to the way you use technology.