Starting vCIO services can be a struggle not just for you and your people, but for the clients too. There are some established expectations of vCIO services, which sets a hurdle right at their kickoff of these services. There is, however, a natural way of solving this problem: use easy to sell and easy to deliver productized vCIO projects.
Of course, developing such effective and elegant solutions does take time, so we’ve set up a shortcut to start, and let you build up vCIO Project products instead. Don’t worry - this isn’t taking on new work - just solve problems you’re expected to already, but start getting paid for all you do.
Let's see seven examples of typical vCIO products:
- IT Development Roadmap ($1500 - $4500) to build up a general IT roadmap, focusing on infrastructure while addressing typical business problems and recommending applications, security or compliance themes as well.
- IT Budget ($500 - $2500) to develop an IT Budget in detail. If the scope is limited to the infrastructure services/investments, SaaS subscriptions and software licenses, it’s a cookie-cutter and helps you sell additional services like regular budget checks.
- Application Selection ($500 - $1500) to select a typical SaaS based application they can buy online without any sales reps involved, such as a CRM, Project Management or any other light line of business application package. You help them set up the requirements, pre-select the candidates and facilitate the selection process.
- SaaS Audit ($500 - $1500) to audit all SaaS subscriptions they have and check whether they have the optimal package, exhibit alternatives and integrations available. They do the heavy lifting and you coordinate the process.
- Risk Assessment ($1500 - $5000) can be boring, to be blunt, but there is no better way to kick-off some IT security initiatives, open the discussion on compliance, or just assess IT risks beyond the scope of just their infrastructure.
- Productivity Workshops ($1500 - $3000) aren’t only useful to office workers, but anyone using to-do apps, project management tools, Office 365, note-taking apps, chat and email apps on various devices. Put together a curriculum you can go through onsite or online with the managers/power users to help them leverage technology better.
- Virtual IT Department Evaluation ($500 - $1500) deals with the many vendor, software and SaaS providers who constitute your clients’ virtual IT department. You can safely assume nobody is leading that herd. Evaluating the different parties involved, set responsibilities and required service levels and manage them accordingly to assure they get the most out of their vendors and services.
These are just quick tips, but how do you make them productized?
- Write down the target customer and the scope of the project.
- Write down the project deliverables as task lists and tasks to be able to establish the price.
- Put together a one-pager on the problems it solves and the benefits it delivers and print out 20-30 pieces, as well as a promotional email.
- Start promoting it with a discount to batch more projects into a given month so you can be more efficient.
- Wait and watch while these initial projects start to push you towards a stand-alone vCIO service.