What is a Fractional CIO?

Written by Greg Taffet

Providing strategic and high-level consulting services to startups and highly-scalable companies across the country with a primary focus in the South Florida and NYC tri-state areas.

Friday, Sep 02

There are many names for a Fractional CIO. Some companies call us Contract CIOs, CIOs for hire, or virtual CIOs. But there is also a new name the “Gig CIO”.

Fractional CIOs may work for multiple organizations at the same time. The Fractional CIO can also work for just one client when the workload requires a full-time effort. The opportunities can be short to just help with a critical project or on an interim basis until a full-time permanent CIO is hired or can last for years in a part-time effort until the CIO is no longer needed or the company grows to require a full-time CIO.  

A fractional CIO becomes part of the executive team. They take responsibility and are accountable for IT. We just don’t provide advice like an outside consultant, we come in and drive the company’s technology strategy and, in many cases, we help craft that technology strategy. Sometimes the project is to turn around IT from a cost center to a profit center.

Normally small businesses start with a CEO who has responsibility for all executive functions.  But when the business start to scale is when to consider whether to hire a full-time CIO or whether a fractional CIO makes more sense. A fractional CIO can support multiple organizations for a few hours a week and it costs each organization only a fraction of what it would cost to hire a full-time CIO. A good choice for a company that needs to conserve its cash but still get executive-level IT leadership.