Oh, the power of “habits”. I don’t think most people realize just how powerful our habits and routine thinking can be, and some times, being stuck in the same old way of thinking will cause real pain in our lives. Let me give you an example.
"In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety."
~ Abraham Maslow
The Full Scoop
Like most young boys, it was my mother that taught me to brush my teeth every morning when I wake up. She showed me the steps and taught me the right way to brush. Put a little cold water on the toothbrush, then apply the toothpaste, then once more under the water to wet it. Brush, brush, brush. Then rinse and spit. Easy and effective right? And that’s the way I did it every day for over 40 years. I never questioned a thing and just did it the way mom taught me when I was a little boy. But here’s the thing, my teeth are incredibly sensitive to cold. I can’t chew ice or bite into an ice cream cone without pain, but mom always turned on the cold water, so that’s how I did it for all those years.
Fast forward about 40 years, and I’m still brushing my teether every day the way mom taught me. My wife comes in one day and notices that I’m gritting through the pain from the cold water. She reaches over and turns the handle to hot and says, try that... Are you kidding me? I can use hot water?!?! It was one of those silly things that I had just never thought to do. All these years I just did what I was in the habit of doing and for some reason never bothered to really think about it, just kept everything on auto-pilot.
Many companies are still using the same ideas and habits from the early 2000’s when it comes to outsourced IT services. Most are so accustomed to only using their MSP partners for “Break-Fix” and Patch Management that they don’t realize there are so many useful and amazing services offered beyond just calling when something breaks.
One service that always seems to be lacking is the availability of an expert, when planning IT projects that require meetings, budget discussions, vendor research, team coordination and timeline planning. These are things that happen all the time in a business. In larger organizations, there is normally someone that gets these IT projects dumped in their lap and tasked with seeing it gets implemented. Many times, the person chosen doesn’t have the time nor the experience that would help make all the many steps go smoothly and quickly.
Enter the vCIO, also referred to as a Fractional CIO. I remember very clearly explaining the idea of a vCIO to a CEO group some time ago, the room was full of very smart and successful CEO’s and business owners. We enjoyed swapping stories and working on problems together to use the collective knowledge of the group. vCIO's was a topic that came up quite organically, when one of the members was discussing all the headaches she was having with getting their accounting and tracking software moved into AWS for Cloud Hosting.
She was having trouble every step of the way, and wasn’t really clear on a lot of what needed to be done, by whom and how difficult it would be. We were not the MSP that handles her account, just a fellow owner working through presented problems within the CEO group.
I explained that what it sounded like she needed was a "vCIO." Someone with many years of project management and IT engineering background that could be her temporary CIO and run the project for her. This owner did not have a full time CIO or IT director on staff and so she had handed the project to a manager and hoped for the best. If you could have seen the way the other members perked up at the idea, it was a bit shocking. It was like I was turning the handle from cold water to hot for the first time. Wait, you mean MSP’s offer this service on as needed basis?
Certainly, most larger MSP’s do have a service like this that is available upon request to ANY existing or new clients. Just ask, you might be shocked to find that it costs only a fraction of what a full-time CIO or Technology director salary would be, while allowing your projects to be handled like a big fortune 500’s. Fully explained, documented, updated and budgeted with third party vendor coordination, the possibilities are endless. And hopefully for you, it’s already a partner that you work with and trust. Just a phone call away in most cases.
Next time you have a meeting to discuss the next level of your IT infrastructure , try turning the water to hot and call your "vCIO". You will thank me later.