CIO Consulting Services

We can help you overcome the odds with our consultative CIO approach

The Chief Information Officer's primary role is to ensure IT is performing at maximum efficiency and is helping the company improve its overall ROI. As with any other leadership role, IT's success or failure rests upon the shoulders of those managing the team. All team members are important, but an objective without clear leadership is like a ship without a captain. In fact, more than half of all IT projects fail - according to the most recent surveys from project management thought leaders. In order to beat the odds, you may need help from the knowledgeable former CIOs and leadership consulting partners at Innovative Architects.

At IA, our experienced CIO consultants can partner with your team to help you understand your current needs and collaboratively create and execute your technology vision.

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Why Consultative CIO Services?

IA’s consultative CIOs are active practitioners of modern technologies. We leverage internal practice specialists to craft sustainable, economical strategies addressing complex business issues. A few common reasons why our clients choose to partner with us include:

  • Hiring a full-time CIO is too costly

  • CIOs require executive program leadership for short-term, strategic initiatives

  • “Carve Outs”, “spin-downs” and acquisition positions can be hard to fill as they are generally short-term yet strategic

  • CIO role is increasingly specialized - i.e. Chief Cloud Officer, Chief Security Officer

  • Low-tech industries such as K-12 schools have difficulty attracting technical, “C-level” talent

  • Sourcing a permanent, full-time CIO can take months - leaving operational gaps

IA’s Consultative CIO Service Capabilities

Let IA augment your organization with consultative CIO services that offer senior leadership and technical depth in the following areas:

Information Access, Security & Business Continuity

  • What security measures are in place beyond firewalls, virus protection? Audits? Compliance?
  • What would happen with a ransomware attack?
  • How is information accessed and security roles evaluated?
  • How are you testing disaster recovery of sites, applications, database?

“Cyber security” is a key entry point and protection should be multi-faceted. Our CIO consultants specialize in intrusion detection, information access, application security, business continuity planning, backup and recovery testing.

Cloud Operations & Migration Services

  • How are you leveraging cloud technologies?
  • What criteria do you use for determining AWS vs. Azure vs. On-Prem?
  • How are workflows for cloud provisioning and maintenance defined?
  • What are the key reports and metrics used for cloud operations?
  • Who is responsible for assessment TCO of cloud vs. on-prem strategy?

Cloud solutions are emerging and evolving rapidly. Determining the right mix is no easy task (AWS? Azure? On-Prem? Hybrid?). By partnering with our cloud consultants, we can help deliver “Cloud Ops” transparency in billing and routing, and facilitate rapid Office 365 migrations.

Vendor/Product Selection & Sourcing Strategies

  • What methods are used for evaluating vendors and prospective solutions?
  • How is 3rd party on-boarding and decommissioning managed?
  • How are licensing and maintenance contracts audited and reviewed?
  • What applications, processes, services could be insourced vs. outsourced and how would these be evaluated?

Vendor/solution selection standards and practices are often ad-hoc. “Sourcing” landscape is rapidly changing (i.e. Office 365, support, momentum on in-sourcing, etc.). Licensing audits, cost modeling, onboarding governance/management and contract re-negotiation can often save organizations big bucks.

Architecture Design & Development Services

  • How are enterprise roadmaps and release schedules maintained?
  • What standards are used for development, security, databases, UX?
  • How is alignment maintained between business goals/requirements and architectural decisions?
  • How are cloud and mobile technologies impacting enterprise architecture?

Architecture and development standards are often ill-defined, leaving stakeholders at a loss for how IT architecture will support their objectives. Our enterprise roadmap & dev planning, business alignment review, traceability reporting and architecture refactoring for cloud/mobile can result in significant improvements.

Resource Retention & Professional Development

  • What are some of the gaps you feel you have in terms of in-house skill?
  • Is your retention and employee development strategy aligned with your architecture and business strategy?
  • Do you have any internal initiatives that may be good learning projects for your internal team?

While Office 365 is good example of outsourcing, there are huge trends in “in-source readiness.” Our consultative CIO services involve comprehensive mentored project development and training, PD path creation, technical development, learning management services, PD track reporting and more.

Lifecycle Management & Governance

  • What standards and frameworks are used to govern IT strategy and delivery?
  • What tools are used to improve development quality and delivery?
  • Can you describe data quality governance and improvement  processes?
  • What audits are completed for application security and best practices?
  • What methods are used for assessing due diligence risks and costs?

There are many governance frameworks available. A CIO must consider factors such as internal operations, governance, external audits, compliance and due diligence to stakeholders before choosing a framework. Our IT strategy consultants can offer in-depth insight into these and other critical considerations.

An Innovative Approach to CIO Consulting

Our consultative CIO approach is focused on supporting existing CIOs or organizations in transition with an attractive, economical focus. Consultative engagements typically range anywhere from 2-weeks to 3-months, but can also be crafted for longer term, permanent support needs.

At IA, our engagements are sculpted to combine tactical, operational management with incremental deliverables that can be scoped to include:

  • Information Security Triage Audit

  • IT Alignment & Prioritization Report

  • Backup & Disaster Recovery Review

  • Licensing Compliance & Vendor Agreement Review

  • Office 365 & Cloud/Hosting Services Assessment    

  • Application Readiness & Key Systems Assessment

  • Resource Planning & PD Recommendations

  • Operations & User Support Process Review

Proven Success from Our CIO Consulting Services

We work regularly with school districts, private equity firms, Atlanta startups, companies needing cloud leadership and other business partners, consistently delivering consultative CIO services that help propel organizations forward.

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About Innovative Architects

Innovative Architects is a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner and expert IT consulting firm offering comprehensive consulting services for Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and New York. Our strength is underlined by an award-winning staff of 130+ software engineers headquartered in Atlanta, GA with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach, FL.

These engineers are leveraged in most all of our CIO support engagements and represent strategic technologies that enable business success, including Office 365, SharePoint, BizTalk, DotNetNuke, EDI, SOA, Microsoft CMS and cloud computing solutions.

Contact us today to talk with a CIO consultant!