Technology plays a vital role in your day-to-day manufacturing operations. In fact, the modern business world depends on technology for just about every task – from marketing to sales to accounting and everything in between. Technology provides a faster, more efficient way of performing work and completing transactions. Technology paves the way for innovation, helping manufacturers stay agile in an increasingly competitive marketplace. So wouldn’t it make sense to look into vCIO services and have someone dedicated to helping you leverage technology properly?
Information technology’s role in manufacturing has become essential. Some manufacturers are still using hit-or-miss solutions that waste money and resources. Why is this? Sometimes business owners just get so busy they don’t have time to learn about the latest technology for manufacturing. Sometimes business owners think the cost will be too high. Not every manufacturing plant can afford the same resources that Amazon might use.
But there are ways to get past the budgetary requirements and all the technology headaches. With a virtual Chief Information Officer, (vCIO) and a Strategic IT Plan, your manufacturing business can move to the next level and even prepare for the future.
A vCIO handles your manufacturing company’s IT needs. As the virtual chief information officer, they will advise you on everything from IT security to operations. Their job is to keep your technology running efficiently, and with an eye to the future. Your vCIO services will also help you cut IT operating costs, confirm that your technology is running securely and that it enables your people to work efficiently each day.
Most business owners are so busy with day-to-day decision making that they really don’t have time to oversee their IT department. You just have to hope your IT staff is making the right decisions about your technology. Even huge companies like Experian have discovered the hard way, that their internal IT department wasn’t really doing their job. This brings up a very important concern for all business owners. Can you really trust that your IT people are updating and patching programs as needed? Are they keeping your IT equipment running optimally?
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.
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.
With an overall assessment of your manufacturing company’s IT resources, you can get a clear picture of what could be changed to provide you with better performance. The assessment includes hardware, software, networks, and business processes you employ.
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 manufacturing 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 ensure that you’re prepared for future needs.
Next-Generation Technologies: Manufacturing industry trends are changing. New technologies are being developed that can help you get the work done each day faster and with fewer errors. Your vCIO will analyze the impact these 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 NextGen technologies that could greatly benefit your manufacturing company. With the ability to predict industry trends, they can provide you with the edge over your competition enabling you to achieve greater success.
When considering an IT Managed Service Provider make sure they have a qualified vCIO on staff who has the ability to:
To compete and succeed, you must adopt a unique strategy that addresses the variety of technologies being used today in the world of manufacturing. And it should include what’s coming in the near and far future. A solid IT Plan is essential for every type of business, including manufacturing firms. But not all businesses can afford to hire a dedicated Chief Information Officer. A virtual CIO could be just the answer you’re looking for.