What’s vCIO Consulting (And How Can It Help Your MSP)?

It’s a constant struggle for most MSP leadership to avoid being pulled into the vortex of day-to-day operations, customer engagement, or putting out fires with service and support.  To then carve out time to audit your current business operations and ideate the strategic moves needed to drive your MSP to the next level—well, that’s nearly impossible for many business owners and CEOs. More and more the C-suite is turning to vCIO consultants to tackle those tasks.

How does vCIO work

A true vCIO partnership is a strategic relationship very similar to having a personal trainer—an established time investment with a coach who shares knowledge but also teaches clients to succeed on their own. After first assessing the current status of the business, the vCIO team addresses your strengths and weaknesses through a detailed strategic roadmap. That plan balances growing your MSP’s core competencies with bolstering the gaps in business operations to drive efficient operations. The team also coaches business stakeholders, often over several months, on how to sustain the momentum by gauging success and adjusting focus in the future. The combination of best practices and accountability helps MSP leaders focus their energy on areas of the business where change has the biggest impact. The result is the ability to shift into hyper-growth mode and grow exponentially.

The assessment and roadmap exercises encompass not just the technical strategy for your MSP, but also evaluate and address the business operations that are the foundation for your services organization. The outcome helps MSPs level up using industry standards, best practices, and tested workflows. The ultimate goal of vCIO? Elevate the operational maturity level (OML) of your MSP, regardless of your current stage of maturity, size, and growth.

What’s the payoff from vCIO consulting?

Identifying, understanding, and adopting new technologies can absorb a lot of time and effort. The role of a trusted advisor revolves around being informed and prepared to use new tech to support clients’ needs. Working with a vCIO to research, draft, and execute on a comprehensive technology roadmap that drives business outcomes for both you and your customers can create a competitive edge for your MSP. When you pair that plan with refined business processes that enable your MSP to scale and deliver exceptional service as a standard, you will be taking that maturity next-step where so many other companies stall. A fresh set of eyes and deep expertise in BPO can drive key business and revenue outcomes to the next level, gaining momentum over the next 3-5 years—and delivering exceptional value for both your MSP and its clients

How do you know if you need vCIO help?

If your MSP is struggling with some common challenges, engaging a vCIO could be a positive step. Perhaps the biggest indicator is knowing you need more focus on strategy but struggling to find time to analyze metrics, dashboards, and reporting to even get started.  Many MSPs are mired in the common battle between working in their business and working on their business. Having a designated time to meet with your vCIO can help with that.

For other MSPs, facing a blank planning sheet is defeating because they don’t have clarity on what the next stage of maturity looks like. Change is difficult enough, but when you don’t know what you don’t know—it can be overwhelming. Plans for the resources and skillsets you may need to build out in your MSP can stagnate when you don’t have the bandwidth to explore and invest time understanding innovations in your space—whether that is technology or business processes.

Lastly, vCIO consulting can help if you are an MSP struggling to create the documentation, policies, and governance needed as a foundation for future growth, or are overwhelmed with the compliance requirements of your own business or those demanded by vertical-focused customers such as financial institutions.

If you have any doubts, a vCIO team should be more than willing to conduct a health check for your MSP and walk through the process you’ll embark on. But in the end, most businesses find that a little “personal training” helps clarify their focus, encourages innovation, and sets the stage for hyper-growth with a scalable business strategy leading the way.

Want to learn more about IT By Design MSP Compass, our vCIO service?