CIO Advisory Services

As a great leader, you have a proven ability to plan for the future and predict where the business will go depending on how you steer it. But when it comes to the technology, you’ll need to get there. That’s when things get complicated, especially if your current IT strategy isn’t meeting expectations. If you find yourself entering board meetings with missed quarterly projections due to uncooperative technology and incompetent technology leadership, it’s time to learn more about CIO services. 

Your CFO manages everything finance. You may have a CMO who oversees marketing. A CIO is your Chief Information Officer, so we manage how you store, transfer, access, and secure the information you need to run your business. 

Increasingly, companies like yours are hiring out CIO services versus adding another C-suite to the payroll. This provides you with a level of flexibility, agility, and broad expertise you wouldn’t get otherwise. In addition to providing standalone CIO Advisory services, we also offer Outsourced and Co-sourced IT Services to cover all your technology needs. 

IT Strategy, Roadmap, and Budget Development

Even small companies need an IT strategy, an IT roadmap, and an IT budget to achieve the goals set forth by the business. In the quickly-changing world of IT, a team cannot afford to focus only on reactive, tactical work. Too much is at stake–including your job.

When you choose CIO Advisory Services, you gain access to an experienced IT Director and the team of skilled professionals around them who work together to plan, execute and manage the day-to-day. We work with your leadership to understand departmental needs and develop an effective IT roadmap to lead your organization into the future.

What does a successful IT strategy look like?

1. Align business initiatives and IT activities

2. Illustrate IT leadership’s vision for IT initiatives

3. Build trust and confidence with executive leaders

4. Allow CFOs to plan for IT costs

5. Enable quicker decisions as business priorities shift

6. Improve inter-department communications

7. Reduce wasted time and effort on vendor review and selection

8. Give you peace of mind that you have the technology you need to steer this ship

Building an IT Strategy

What does it take to build an IT strategy effectively?

Our CIO Services IT Director will look at factors like:

  • Age of your organization 
  • Size of your company
  • Current budget 
  • Comfort level with technology and change 
  • The complexity of your current IT environment 
  • Areas where we can reduce complexity so technology works better and your people can work more efficiently. 

Now our CIO Services team is ready to get to work: 

  1. Collaborating with key business stakeholders to understand your priorities. A true IT strategy must be based on business goals and initiatives, not just IT initiatives.
  2. Build an Application Inventory. We need to know what you’re already working with. Read: The Magic of An IT Application Inventory 
  3. Identify technical debt (or we could say: applications, services, or equipment that is out of maintenance, at the end of their lifecycle, or needs to be upgraded)
  4. Evaluate opportunities to consolidate applications with overlapping or redundant feature sets. 
  5. Clarify where you can leverage new and modern IT tools to save money and improve employee productivity.

Developing an IT Roadmap & IT Budget

Your roadmap is your practical day-to-day plan to implement the strategy our CIO services develop. It includes the projects, timelines, and required resources to get this job done. 

The CIO Services roadmap also enables the IT Director to create an IT budget based on the strategy and roadmap. Typically, roadmaps cover more than one year of activities, making quarterly projects easy to plan and budget for. 

What to Expect from an IT Director

An IT Director addresses strategy, road maps, and budgets. But they can also become part of the overall management team of an organization. Our Founder, Sarah can attend your board meetings to make sure all stakeholders understand the plan and importance of enhancing your IT infrastructure.

Our IT scorecard transparently shares progress. So you never have to wonder if the CIO services you convinced the board to buy into is working for you. In addition to the obvious improvements you’ll see throughout the organization, our IT scorecard provides you with documentation of our performance.

IT Policy & Procedures Creation

Is your company bound by stringent compliance and regulations? IT is critical to meeting those compliance standards. Our industry-specific compliance experts build an IT infrastructure that not only meets compliance standards. We set it up so it’s easy to prove your compliance because at the end of the day, if you can’t prove it, it wasn’t done.

Regardless of the compliance standards you’re responsible for, we:

  1. Give you the tools you need to answer customer security audits and insurance questionnaires
  2. Create a baseline security practice within the business to eliminate risk 
  3. Align business expectations with IT practices
  4. Ensure the identification and implementation of standard IT practices
  5. Deliver consistent employee experience
  6. Gain efficiencies by ensuring things are done the same way every time

As your company grows, standard policies and procedures become more and more critical. They allow you to scale the business by ensuring IT systems remain clean and organized, creating a more secure operating environment.

We help you develop policies and standard operating procedures aligned with best practices like ISO27001 and COBIT.

IT Audit

IT audits give you an opportunity to articulate that your company is following your previously defined policies and procedures.

During an IT Audit, an internal auditor (or IT manager) will ask IT to develop evidence demonstrating that they’re following outlined procedures. These range from day-to-day and infrastructure tasks like:

  • Onboarding/offboarding personnel.
  • Ticketing metrics
  • Computer security policies
  • Creating and testing backups
  • Patching servers
  • Reviewing antivirus and phishing statistics
  • Ensuring encryption is deployed and functional

Conducting regular internal audits has many benefits.

IT Audits:

  1. Inform IT leadership about where they need additional training and coaching
  2. Keep IT systems organized, which results in a more secure environment
  3. Prepare staff for upcoming compliance and regulatory audits

As part of our CIO services, we conduct these IT policies and procedures reviews to determine whether they meet IT standards like ISO27001 or COBIT. We also play the “internal auditor” role and help companies understand gaps that require focus over the coming year.

IT Risk Assessments

Your IT environment faces risks from all sides, both internal and external. Navigating those risks requires a specific skill set. We conduct IT risk assessments for your executive team to ensure your IT team is “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s” when it comes to IT basics.

We provide an analysis of your organization’s security position and recommendations improvements in the security and management of your IT environment. We take a layered approach in reviewing an IT environment, starting with the network, continuing with application security and ending with a review of endpoint (computer/laptop) security.

During these assessments, we focus on:

  • Whether the team applies security configuration policies appropriately
  • If applications have correct security features,
  • If HR census matches IT active accounts
  • If you’re following the principle of least privilege
  • Whether endpoint security is regularly monitored and remediated
  • Employee education

That last one is huge. We recognize that your employees are your first line of defense in a security breach. Hackers realize this too and often direct phishing attacks at your employees to get to you. It’s a game of numbers after that. If they send a phishing email to 100 employees, only one person has to fall for it and they’re in.

We must educate our employees to identify and report phishing scams. We must be able to trust our people to work with us to keep the network safe. As part of our CIO services risk assessment, we take a closer look at employee security education and work to improve it to reduce your risks further.

A CIO Services IT director manages all of this so you don’t have to worry about it.

Is your IT team unproductive?

Learn the 5 Signs of Unproductive IT

Is your IT team unproductive?

Learn the 5 Signs of Unproductive IT

IT Vendor Management

IT Vendor Management can overwhelm even the most organized IT leadership. No one piece of technology does it all. Your company relies on a whole suite of tools from various vendors. Each has its own licensing, maintenance, subscription, integration, and security to manage. On top of all this, it’s very likely every application has a different renewal date, and many vendors require a 60 or 90-day termination notice.

If someone isn’t proactively managing these contracts, things get out of hand fast. And you have an IT disaster on your hands.

Better IT Vendor Management Saves You Money

When no one’s managing IT vendors, or doing it poorly, you could end up spending money on technology you no longer use or letting your license lapse, bringing operations to a halt. You might spend money on new features that you’re already paying for elsewhere.

Our CIO services director streamlines your vendor management, so everything stays up-to-date with no surprises. Vendor management saves you money. It eliminates redundancies and helps you get the most out of the tools you’re paying for.

Making Sure You’re Not Paying for Something You Don’t Need

In addition to managing these vendors on an ongoing basis, we conduct an annual review to ensure vendors continue to meet business needs. Through these reviews, we’ve found numerous cases where they don’t. In one instance, we secured a $70,000 credit for a single unused component in one of their core applications. We found that they were being charged for this unused component despite the fact that the contract said otherwise. Without that annual review, they would have continued to pay this money year after year.

And this isn’t as rare as you’d think. Just take one 10-page vendor contract and imagine what could be hiding in that legal fluff and jargon.

Making Sure You Get What You Pay For

Your vendors made a promise when they sold you technology. They outline these in their service level agreement. We will help you keep these companies accountable for their promises. In another case, we secured a $10,000 penalty payment for a client who had experienced several outages because of one vendor. The client didn’t even know they were entitled to this in the contract.

CIO Services for an IT Environment that Works

You’re paying for technology to further business goals and grow the company. When it doesn’t work, it’s not just frustrating. Something’s wrong. CIO Services helps you build and maintain an efficient and cost-effective IT environment. We’re proud to be your business partner, not just an IT partner that fixes computers. From compliance to vendor management service, we are a business partner who understands the business of Information Technology within an organization.

Helped us with our entire IT Infrastructure and now we outsource all IT to TenisiTech

“TenisiTech has been a valuable partner in helping us find the right technology solutions to meet the challenges of a healthcare environment that is constantly evolving. I continue to be impressed with their ability to understand our needs, their commitment to our success, and their knowledge that helps us prepare for the future.

Our confidence in their services has led to expanding our engagement with TenisiTech. As their value to The Elizabeth Hospice became evident, what started as a service contract to direct our IT department and provide project management support, grew to include systems administration and network support. The Elizabeth Hospice now is entirely outsourced to TenisiTech.

The security of knowing that TenisiTech is managing our technology has given us the time and freedom needed to focus on elevating the level of care we provide to patients, clients and the community and managing our assets more efficiently. We know with certainty that we have a reliable resource in TenisiTech, a resource that helps keep The Elizabeth Hospice at the forefront of a highly competitive industry.”

Sarah McSpadden, Director, The Elizabeth Hospice

If someone were to compare the IT support across the 21 regional centers, we would come out number 1!

“The pandemic is another fantastic example of why I’m happy that we have TenisiTech, I don’t know what working from home would have looked like with our old structure. It may have gone OK, but I don’t think it would have gone nearly as well as it did. TenisiTech is innovative, forward thinking, and constantly looking for a quicker and more efficient way of doing things with the assistance of technology.  I just want to brag. If someone were to compare the IT support across the 21 regional centers, we would come out number 1!”

 

Claudia Reed, CFO, Valley Mountain Regional Center

Our internal team seems happy with both the coaching and new technology being utilized.

“I wanted to take a moment and share how impressed I have been with the TenisiTech team.  We have pondered a few times what this transition to a telehealth model would look like if we hadn't made a shift in our IT structure when we did.  Our internal team seems happy with both the coaching and new technology being utilized.  I am hearing from staff that they feel responded to and their problems are being efficiently addressed.  My own experience has been fantastic.  I am truly grateful to be in partnership with you and your team.”

 

Allison Becwar, President & CEO, Lincoln Families

I already know we made the correct decision with moving to your company.

“I want to sing TenisiTech’s praises. They have such an amazingly responsive and capable team. We have already seen such improvement in the management style of this team. I already know we made the correct decision with moving to your company.”

 

Nina Asay, Sr. Director of Administration & Operations, The Arc San Francisco

The conversations I had with our CEO were that TenisiTech was worth every penny.

"You won over our staff because not only do you have the technical skills, but you have the human interactions skills. . . . TenisiTech brought a well-rounded approach to our IT Management that was really indispensable in solving our problem and taking our IT operation to the next level. We do not have a complex IT environment but what we had you made a lot better, a lot safer . . . without worry. You came, you looked, you audited, you did your assessment, and you said, “this is what you should be doing, this is the order of things.” That’s very comforting. The conversations I had with our CEO were that TenisiTech was 'worth every penny.'”

 

Jose Rivera, Director of Operations, Lincoln Families

…the team has been proactive and able to resolve issues quickly. Excited to keep moving forward and gain hours back to my work week!

 

Bob Buckler, Director of Ops C32 Designs

Wanted to let you all know how grateful we are for the quick turnaround time in getting things up and running.

“Just wanted to reach out and thank you all for the incredible win on Saturday getting our agent back online. I've highlighted it to the Executive Team as an area that we have immediately improved upon and wanted to let you all know how grateful we are for the quick turnaround time in getting things up and running. We had discussed that this was like a "worst case scenario" for us at this point in the transition and the way that it was handled gives me incredible confidence in our partnership.”

 

Louis Marshall, Solutions Manager, Officium Labs

I’d be thrilled to accomplish so much in a normal year let alone a pandemic year!

 

Allison Becwar, President & CEO, Lincoln Families

TenisiTech took it on, did a fantastic job, and were very patient with us.

“I would not want to go back to where we were 2 years ago. Now that I’ve had the benefit of what a real IT support can do, I am amazed that we got by as long as we did without TenisiTech. HIPAA policy was a big project that had been sitting on the back burner because we weren’t sure how to tackle it. TenisiTech took it on, did a fantastic job, and were very patient with us.”

 

Claudia Reed, CFO, VMRC

It is not often throughout my career, that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a team as knowledgeable, approachable and accountable as TenisiTech

 

Debby Jones, Accounting, The Elizabeth Hospice

Having a group like TenisiTech who has that deep IT background embedded in its organization and can tap into it as needed has really been very helpful for us.

“The best thing VMRC has gotten from TenisiTech is the depth of knowledge in IT that we did not have before. Having a group like TenisiTech who has that deep IT background embedded in its organization and can tap into it as needed has really been very helpful for us.”

 

Claudia Reed, CFO, Valley Mountain Regional Center

My company sees me as a hero because of TenisiTech.

“The beauty of TenisiTech is with your help we are now worry-free with peace of mind.  We know the important stuff is going to get done well and timely, and we don't have to second guess that there is some scary gap out there in IT operations that will come back to bite us.  I know a lot of nonprofits hit a wall when they had to transition from working on site to working from home. We didn't even notice we were working from home. It just magically happened.  My company sees me as a hero because of TenisiTech.”

 

Jose Rivera, Director of Operations, Lincoln Families

Learn what CIO Advisory Services can do for your company.