Why Schools are Hiring Virtual CIOs

Why Schools are Hiring Virtual CIOs

As technology continues to grow and expand, many businesses and organizations can find it hard to keep up with things. Not surprisingly, schools are one of the best examples of this fact. This is troubling because schools are supposed to prepare their students for the future. Without up-to-date tools and methods, young professionals could find themselves in a situation where they are unprepared for the demands of most jobs. Let’s look at the unique technology challenges faced by schools and examine how a virtual CIO might be able to help.

Why Does This Problem Exist?

Unlike private companies, schools are dependent on funds that are disbursed by the state. Because governments often have other priorities, schools will often get the short end of the stick. Thankfully, the problem is nowhere near as bad as it once was. This report from the U.S. government seems to indicate that a lot of progress was made during the late 1990s. Before that time, most schools had few computers, no computers, or badly outdated ones.

Unfortunately, we can see that there is still much to be done. For instance, let’s look at this survey on the subject of education technology. It was produced with Gallup, so it should be about as reliable as any other poll. Although it focuses mainly on the use of digital learning tools, there is one important takeaway: Most teachers and students say that they would like to use learning technology more often.

The Training Problem

There is also a training problem when it comes to technology use in schools. Even if educational institutions can get the necessary funds for good technology, they may lack qualified individuals for training. With how fast technology changes, it can be very hard for educators to keep up with the trends. In order to make sure that their students are taught the most up-to-date information, technology teachers have to be retrained on a near-constant basis.

What Is A Virtual CIO?

You probably know what a CIO (Chief Information Officer) is, but you might also be scratching your head at the term “virtual CIO.” First of all, a virtual CIO is not a simulation, an AI program, or anything like this. A virtual CIO is generally a real person in the physical sense. The only thing that makes them a “virtual CIO” is the fact that they are not permanent parts of the company. Instead, they are kept on call and employed on an “as needed” basis.

Because a school probably doesn’t need a full-time CIO, this is an ideal solution for their tech needs. It’s also a lot easier on the budget to hire an independent contractor than it is to hire a full-time salaried employee. Until those in the government decide to be a little more generous in this department, a virtual CIO remains as one of the best tech solutions for schools.

Benefits Of A Virtual CIO

When you are considering whether or not to hire a virtual CIO, you should evaluate the benefits that they offer. You must weigh these benefits against your needs and determine the best decision. Let’s look at the biggest advantages of this service.

Up-To-Date Planning

In order to make an effective plan, one must first have access to relevant and accurate information. Without a CIO at the meeting, it is easy for people to forget this fact. Sure, you might be familiar with the tech trends from 5-10 years ago, but that’s not good enough. Schools that are working with technology can benefit greatly from having a well-informed person for consultation on tech-related decisions.

A Cost-Effective Solution

Obviously, it’s a lot cheaper to hire a virtual CIO than it is to hire a full-time equivalent. We already explained this benefit, so let’s look for some data to confirm what we’ve been told. The amount of money saved will vary a lot across companies and organizations, so there are no consistent numbers here. However, we did find this handy guide to evaluating the costs of a virtual CIO. In most cases, you will see that a virtual CIO saves a boatload of money, especially over the long haul.

More Effective Disaster Response

Unfortunately, tech disasters are another part of the package. Whether its a cyberattack or a routine system crash, measures must be taken to deal with the problem and prevent it from happening again. Because most schools have small IT departments (or none at all), they can find themselves in a position where no one knows how to respond effectively. That’s where an on-call virtual CIO can be worth their weight in gold.

Where Can One Hire A Virtual CIO?

In most cases, a virtual CIO is hired through a competent IT company. They will basically be offering some extra work to one of their resident experts, although some IT managed service providers will recruit people just for this purpose. Either way, there are plenty of managed IT service plans that include the use of a virtual CIO, allowing you to bundle all your expenses together. Call PCH Technologies Today!

Conclusion

A virtual CIO is an option that is well worth considering for any school. With so many educational institutions struggling to meet their costs and provide for the needs of their students, a cost-effective solution like this one was sorely needed. We can only hope that this will help the next generation to be better informed and better trained to deal with a high-tech world. If we have also helped you to be better prepared, you can show your appreciation by filling out the contact form.