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Digital Transformation—Delivered with Virtual CIO Services

For years, digital transformation has crept into the business vernacular for every industry and business type around the globe. Even slow-to-adopt, locally owned and operated brick-and-mortar companies have moved into the digital world, whether through social, e-commerce, or mobile apps.

But every business today faces a post-pandemic world of a remote workforce coupled with stay-at-home consumers. Retailers, service providers, manufacturers, and others can no longer afford to design and slow-walk their IT initiatives or avoid digital transformation altogether.

Marketplace survival depends on embracing IT as a strategic enabler. Consumers demand that brands maintain a digital footprint that delivers in the channel of their choice, meaning organizations must embrace multi-faceted online marketing and sales strategies. And companies that want to thrive must fully integrate digital initiatives throughout the enterprise, including manufacturing, fulfillment, distribution, accounting, and more.

The problem for many business leaders: how do you begin? Overseeing an organization’s digital transformation—including the information technology and enterprise systems involved—requires sophisticated expertise, in-depth knowledge, and the ability to design and lead change. Without it, companies can falter. This may be why, according to InformationAge, only 29% of IT implementations are successful, and 19% re considered complete failures.

But the good news for businesses looking to succeed in their IT initiatives? OSI can help.

Fueled by decades of experience, OSI staff provide a CIO-as-a-Service offering that extends far beyond designing and implementing technology. They employ a partnering model that enables executive team alignment of strategic company vision and business planning, perfectly aligned to facilitate tactical IT implementation. Through this process, companies reach a comprehensive IT plan that includes the critical elements necessary for project success. OSI can ensure that your IT initiatives succeed and avoid the common pitfalls that derail many IT projects.

Leveraging OSI’s CIO expertise, businesses gain the benefits of digitization and virtualization without overspending or having to add in-house expertise. This practical solution-as-a-service delivers effective business transformation and value while making the best use of scarce resources. Multiple factors drive demand for outsourced IT services, including:

  • Overworked in-house IT staff
  • Digital transformation initiatives
  • Finite resources
  • Lack of dedicated IT resources and staff
  • Lack of in-house expertise

The growing IT challenge

Executive leadership, particularly those poised for growth, often struggles to embrace IT effectively. Without a chief information officer (CIO) in place, organizations lack executive alignment with IT, miss out on enterprise efficiency opportunities, and fail to build future-proof plans for IT infrastructure and investment.

Companies that maintain in-house IT resources, yet lack a CIO, may struggle to see the big picture when it comes to scaling their IT environments to respond to market disruption or increased customer demand. They may also lack the understanding to plan, and budget for an IT upgrade or migration without causing significant downtime to operations.

Achieving executive stakeholder buy-in is critical to successful IT initiatives. However, getting the leaders of sales, marketing, manufacturing, products, and distribution to agree on IT goals, roles, and priorities can be difficult. Products may want an independent solution for product lifecycle management. Sales want CRM capabilities to feed their prospect pipeline, while marketing insists on owning customer data, which they believe should reside in a separate marketing automation solution. And all three insist on deploying a secure solution.

Fundamentally, growing businesses successfully using IT solutions will need a comprehensive, forward-thinking strategy to accelerate digital transformation initiatives. Without it, companies will fail to remain relevant in a data economy driven by fast-moving digital demands and ever-growing consumer expectations. Yet implementing an enterprise system in-house, or hiring a CIO to develop a long-term strategy, may not be the optimal solution for a small-to-mid-sized company in need of rapid change with finite resources.

Virtual CIO services allow a business to outsource the responsibilities of a CIO in a fast, efficient manner that’s cost-effective and customer-focused. You rely on external expertise rather than spending the time and resources to try and build capacity internally. These CIO-as-a-service capabilities include:

  • Short-term and long-term IT strategy
  • Technology evaluation, integration, and customization
  • Process assessment and optimization
  • Change management and adoption strategies
  • Disaster recovery planning

Virtually the right solution

CIO-as-a-service can jumpstart an organization’s growth strategy by creating value for the organization without stretching finite internal resources. And often, it sets up a platform for success that can be built upon to address future needs quickly. It provides a rapid response to accelerated digital transformation, whether to scale swiftly or respond to disruption. Businesses have the right consultation, strategy, and tools to hire staff at a later date—including a CIO.

OSI provides virtual CIO services that give companies a competitive advantage while saving time and money. It offers expert IT strategy services without having to hire senior executive staff, such as a CIO.

OSI performs an exhaustive needs assessment, helping businesses identify the best solutions that fit their exact business needs. After a thorough examination period, OSI provides a detailed report and recommendation based on proven methodologies and procedures used over the years for organizations of every size and serving diverse markets.

Outsourcing with virtual CIO services, when done right, will include defining clear expectations for your executive team, which will go a long way toward earning the organizational trust. According to one report, 33% of projects fail because of a lack of involvement from senior management. OSI works diligently, with a proven process used in multiple industries and with clients around the world, to actively involve leadership to collectively define goals, manage expectations, and achieve buy-in from the start. Doing so allows a business to:

  • Identify business optimization opportunities across silos
  • Establish a collective IT services strategy and framework
  • Improve back end and customer-facing processes
  • Deliver digital tools and insight throughout the company
  • Build strategic stakeholder buy-in throughout departments

OSI virtual services extend to every business need. From building an online marketplace to developing a digital marketing strategy to executing tactical sales execution, OSI can help companies thrive using technology tools to modernize operations.

How do you begin?

The following steps may be helpful for companies looking for executive IT leadership and consultation. First, make sure you have the right criteria in place to create a shortlist of potential vendors. Ask prospective consultants a lot of questions.

According to one recent CIO.com report, one of the three top reasons IT projects fail is because they don’t meet a client’s needs. Look for a partner that promises to begin with an in-depth learning process involving a deep operational process review, organizational goals, staffing, customers, competitors, markets, and more. The right consultant will emphasize tight collaboration and open communication. This will include CIO as a service and getting stakeholder agreement. You need to have more than just a kickoff meeting to manage expectations; you need regular steering committee and project team status meetings to check progress, identify issues, and facilitate stakeholder support.

Also, get a list of client references you can speak with directly. Ask tough questions: Was the project delivered on time? On budget? Did the consultant start with IT questions? Or business goals? You want your partner to understand everything about IT, but to maintain a business-first mindset, viewing technology as an enabler to achieving strategic objectives and benefits.

A CIO-as-services benefits checklist:

  • Fast return on value
  • Immediate access to IT expert knowledge and skillset
  • Proactive system maintenance
  • Creative problem-solving based on working with multiple clients and industries
  • Security acumen that’s up to date

Faster Transformation. A platform for success.

For companies either lacking resources or needing to accelerate digital initiatives, virtual CIO services provide the foundation for profitability and efficiency through better decision making. OSI offers a wide variety of expertise to meet this need, including seasoned staff with extensive backgrounds in all areas of business, from marketing and sales to manufacturing, retail, engineering, and more.

OSI partners with clients to develop the proper IT blueprint to achieve a fast return on value. You’ll quickly and easily improve how your company captures, generates, maintains, shares, and uses as actionable intelligence. From the executive room to the manufacturing floor, from the salesperson to the delivery truck, your company will better leverage information and analytics without the hassle of adding staffing resources or designing the perfect digital strategy.

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