A question that was brought to my attention – “What’s the difference between the three terms used here and why are they used interchangably? I mean an IT Manager and CIO may possibly be different ways to interpret the same organizational position, but a VCIO – what on earth is that?”
My view is this. Fundamentally, an IT Manager handles technology on a day-to-day basis, while a CIO does not… However that is not a necessary difference. At times an IT Manager may just be a glorified tech-junkie who tackles hardware errors after they happen and software faults after they occur.
A CIO deals with technology pertaining specifically to information exchange/storage/acquisition. Essentially he would manage the “information flow” for the organization and work on ways to optimize/improve upon it. A vital part of this role is pre-emption of failure possibilities, and taking precautions for the same – basically a proactive risk management approach.
What then is a VCIO? Simply put it’s a part-time CIO – a contract worker who performs tasks at the CIO level – who works with the same information and risk management routine. A full time CIO would work with only one organization probably 9-5, 5 days a week; while a VCIO may work with more than one – spending 2 days at one organization and 2 days at another – a variable schedule designed to ensure the maximum use of available organizational personnel and provide least inconvenience to the working staff.
I, am a VCIO.