EVERY company, except for the very smallest, needs a Chief Information Office (CIO). But the prevailing full-time hiring approach means that most CEOs will only consider adding a CIO when they reach enough of a workload to justify hiring a full-time person. And when they do, they will hire someone less experienced because they need a full-time role in a company that doesn't have enough needs to attract a more experienced tech leader on their way up.  

There's a better way. CEOs can adopt a technology leadership model that can scale up and down to meet their needs with a solution that is optimized for more experience than less. Technology Leadership as a Service (TLaaS) enables CEOs to select a CIO on an interim, fractional, or virtual basis. This leadership model enables CEOs to optimize for experience by changing utilization rather than fixing utilization at 100% and changing experience.

Since businesses of all sizes and industries increasingly rely on digital tools, software, and systems to streamline their operations, TLaaS can help CEOs and their organizations better serve their customers and establish a sustainable competitive advantage. 

When Should a CEO Consider Hiring a CIO?

As organizations grow, their technology needs become more complex, and the need for expert technology leadership increases. In the early stages of a business, technology needs can often be met through an outsourced relationship with a Managed Services Provider (MSP). However, as the company grows, it may encounter strategic needs or security incidents that require attention.

So how does a CEO know when they need a CIO? The answer is not always straightforward, as it depends on various factors unique to each organization. However, the following signs may indicate that it's time to consider hiring a CIO.

Sign #1: You're Not Getting the Strategic Guidance You Need

If your MSP is not providing the strategic guidance you need to drive your business forward, it may be time to bring in a CIO. A CIO can provide critical insight into how technology can:

  • Support your business objectives,
  • Identify new growth opportunities, and
  • Help you stay ahead of the competition.

Additionally, a CIO can help you navigate the complex world of technology, ensuring you invest in the right tools and systems for your business. This can help you avoid costly mistakes and maximize your technology budget.

Sign #2: You're Experiencing Security Incidents

In today's digital age, cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses of all sizes. If you've experienced security incidents or data breaches in the past, it's a sign that you need to take a more proactive approach to protect your business. A CIO can help you assess your current security posture, identify vulnerabilities, and implement a comprehensive security strategy to keep your business safe.

Furthermore, a CIO can help you stay up-to-date with the latest security threats and trends, ensuring your business is always protected against emerging risks.

Sign #3: You're Struggling to Keep Up with Technology Changes

Technology is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging for businesses to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. If you're falling behind the curve, it may be time to bring in a CIO. A CIO can help you:

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest technology changes,
  • Identify new opportunities for innovation, and
  • Ensure that your business always uses the best tools and systems available.

Additionally, a CIO can help you develop a long-term technology strategy that aligns with your business goals and objectives, ensuring that you are well-positioned for success in future years.

Sign #4: You're Growing and Need More Technology Support

Finally, if your business is growing rapidly and you need more technology support than your MSP can provide, consider hiring a CIO. A CIO can help you scale your technology infrastructure, manage your growing data needs, and ensure your systems can support your business as it expands.

Furthermore, a CIO can help you develop a technology roadmap that aligns with your growth objectives, ensuring that you are always prepared for what's next.

However, there are situations where the need for a CIO is based on other factors, such as:

  • A rapidly growing technology-enabled business with complex requirements, 

  • Significant data security and compliance concerns

  • An organization whose customers rely on its technology, or

  • An organization whose industry is experiencing rapid disruption from technology innovation or new competitors using technology to disrupt the status quo.


Technology is critical to the success of businesses in today's world, regardless of their size. As organizations grow, their technology needs become more complex, and the need for expert technology leadership increases. If you're experiencing any of the signs outlined in this post, it may be time to consider hiring an interim or fractional CIO to help you navigate the complex world of technology, ensure that you're investing in the right tools and systems, and position your business for long-term success.

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