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What Is an IT Director or VP of IT Salary?

An IT Director or VP of IT supervises tech, teams and suppliers. They focus on delivery of IT services to support and improve a company.

What is an IT Director/VP of IT Salary in the US?

Surveys by recruitment companies indicate an IT Director or VP of IT salary as high as $280,000 per year.

The lower end of the IT Director salary is usually due to experience, but where they work also has an effect. IT Director or VP of IT salaries in the Northeast tend to be higher, but they can earn excellent salaries in other cities across the US.

With all these factors – experience, geography, the quality of the candidate and the needs of the business – it can be complicated to assess the right salary for an IT Director or VP of IT.

How to determine an IT Director’s salary?

When we are selecting IT Directors, we look at the following indicators to benchmark their experience and value which helps in determining their salary:

1. Does the IT Director or VP of IT understand the business well, as opposed to just the technology? Do they have strong connections with other business leaders? When they introduce changes to a company, does it drive improvements across a range of areas and activities? Similarly, do they focus on improving key business activities that drive business performance – not just activities more narrowly related to IT or technology?

2. Do they introduce best practice or simply good practice? For example, do they stay informed about the most recent cybersecurity tactics and products? Are they knowledgeable and experienced in modern automation tools to remove repetitive business administration tasks?

3. Do they have excellent team leadership and management skills? Can they grow a high-performing, loyal, and cost-effective internal team? Similarly do they effectively negotiate price, contract and service management arrangements with suppliers?

Ultimately, the position of IT Director is extremely important and can have a huge impact on a business. The IT Director’s salary needs to reflect that. (For more information about the role itself, see our explanation here.)

We interview, screen, select and develop more executive-level IT leaders than any other organization. We’re always happy to discuss the recruitment process or any other IT challenges or opportunities.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) CIOs, CTOs and IT directors. We work exclusively with ambitious mid-market organizations, and we frequently help our clients to use technology to beat their competition.

To find out more about how we could add value to your business, Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

What Is a CTO Salary?

A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is responsible for tech, teams and suppliers. They drive innovation and efficiency across the business.

What is the salary for CTOs in the US?

Surveys by recruitment companies indicate a CTO salary as high as $280,000 per year.

A CTO salary will vary by experience. Where they work also has an effect. CTO salaries in the Northeast tend to be higher, but CTOs can earn excellent salaries in other cities across the US.

With all these factors – experience, geography, the quality of the candidate and the needs of the business – it can be complicated to assess a CTO’s salary.

How to determine a CTO salary?

Assessing where a CTO should fit in this range can be complicated. We simplify it by using three key factors:

1. Does the CTO look to the horizon—to market leaders and emerging technology—in order to bring innovation and new ideas to the business? Are they genuine leaders in digital, custom
software, and identifying market opportunities? Do they continually learn and ensure they are at the top of their game?

2. Do they take a leading role in improving efficiency, effectiveness, and driving business value? Do they create new starting points and innovations to open the door to new business strategies? Or is their job to simply meet the agenda set by more senior leaders?

3. Finally, do they take broad ownership for delivering change? For example, does the CTO facilitate discussions with other leaders within the organization and potentially outside? Do they work as equals with other leaders to meet overall objectives? Are they credible and knowledgeable when dealing with investors and other external stakeholders?

Overall, the CTO is an extremely important position that can have a huge impact on a business. The CTO’s salary needs to reflect that. (For more information about the role itself, see our article, What is the meaning of “CTO”?)

We interview, screen, select and develop more executive-level IT leaders than any other organization. We’re always happy to discuss the recruitment process or any other IT challenges or opportunities.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke CTOs work on a “fractional,” or part-time model. This provides a business with first-class tech leadership without the full-time cost.

Our fractional CTOs are uniquely suited to mid-market businesses. They have outstanding technical expertise. They are strategic thinkers. They understand how to use tech to drive growth. But they are also suited to the culture and reality of mid-market business.

Whatever the remit, our CTOs operate from the fundamental idea of linking a business’s systems and digital strategy to business objectives. This should be the goal of every innovative company, because when the two disciplines are connected, we see real, sustainable growth.

Visit our Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

To find out more about how we could add value to your business, Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

What Is a CIO Salary?

A Chief Information Officer (CIO) has the ultimate responsibility for tech, teams, and suppliers. They provide clear oversight of systems, processes, data reporting, and staff.

What is the salary for CIOs in the US?

According to recent surveys, a CIO salary can be as high as $300,000 per year.

A CIO salary will vary by experience. Where they work also has an effect. CIO salaries in the Northeast tend to be higher, but CIOs can earn competitive salaries in other regions across the US.

With all these factors – experience, geography, the quality of the candidate and the needs of the business – it can be complicated to assess a CIO’s salary.

How to determine a CIO salary?

Where a candidate fits depends on key factors relating to the CIO role itself, including:

 

1. To what extent is the CIO responsible for IT strategic decisions? Are they accountable for strategic IT direction or just operational decisions?

2. To what extent do they contribute to business strategy? More specifically, do they contribute IT innovations and options for the business? Do they translate business strategy into IT strategy?

3. To what extent do they lead projects that address changes to process, technology, organization, and reporting? Or do they just handle the technology component?

4. What experience do they have in terms of internal team size, expenditure on products and services, complex contract management, and potential impact of failure or security breach?

 

Overall, the CIO is an extremely important position that can have a huge impact on a business. The CIO’s salary needs to reflect that. (For more information about the role itself, see our article, What is the meaning of “CIO”?)

If you have questions about the role of the CIO and their salary, we can help. We interview, screen, select and develop more executive-level IT leaders than any other organization. We’re always happy to discuss the recruitment process or any other IT challenges or opportunities.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke CIOs work on a “fractional,” or part-time model. This provides a business with first-class tech leadership without the full-time cost.

Our fractional CIOs are uniquely suited to mid-market businesses. They have outstanding technical expertise. They are strategic thinkers. They understand how to use tech to drive growth. But they are also suited to the culture and reality of mid-market business.

Whatever the needs of the company, our CIOs operate from the fundamental idea of linking systems and digital strategy to business objectives. This should be the goal of every innovative company because when the two disciplines are connected, we see real, sustainable growth.

To find out more about how we could add value to your business, Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

What is “CTO as a service?”

“CTO as a service” means getting valuable advice from a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) as you need it, without ongoing costs. We live in an era where everything is a service; “CTO as a service” is an extension of this idea.

The Benefits of “CTO as a Service”

A CTO can deliver transformational benefits to a mid-market business by bringing expertise and traction to systems and digital projects. An effective CTO can streamline business processes, improve customer service, and increase value. They drive online projects, custom software and app development.

However, good CTOs are rare and thus command high salaries and benefits. So having a CTO as part of the senior team is potentially unaffordable for many mid-market businesses.

And even where budgets allow, it is a risky hiring decision and difficult to get right.

The solution is retaining a CTO as a service on a contract rather than full-time.

Issues with “CTO as a Service”

Of course, a CTO is a senior leader, and not all the benefits of a senior leader can be delivered as a series of well-defined tasks, or questions and answers, or opinions delivered from a distance.

Difficult issues are often ambiguous, and there are seldom simple solutions. To be blunt, if there is a problem you can fix with a phone call, you don’t need a high-quality CTO.

To achieve real, market-leading success, you need a clear vision, strong leadership, and expert judgment. There must be communication and action over an extended period.

Tech alone rarely delivers value. The greatest challenge is to make organizations and businesses work together with Tech. It isn’t practical to expect a remote, disconnected service person to deliver this value.

“CTO as a Service” vs. a Fractional CTO

A fractional CTO joins the senior leadership of a company on a part-time basis. This is a cost-effective approach and provides genuine and effective technology leadership. The fractional CTO is a part of the senior team, with ongoing involvement in tech initiatives and decision-making.

The best CTOs bring a cogent commercial and technical vision for how tech can deliver value to a business, and they bring innovation into the heart of the senior team. This cannot be achieved by someone working in a “taskified,” on-demand manner.

On the other hand, a fractional CTO shapes and influences a company without adding the overhead of a full-timer. A fractional CTO can have a huge impact on the growth of a mid-market firm without undercutting the bottom line.

Visit our Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

To find out more about how we could add value to your business, Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

CIO vs CTO: What’s the difference?

It is easy to assume that a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the same thing as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO). However, there are important differences from the point of view of a mid-market CEO. Read on to learn about both job titles and their functions.

Internal or External?

Although there isn’t universal agreement on the difference, one way of thinking about it is that the CIO is more internal-facing, while CTOs are more external.

CIOs take ownership of internal processes – the day-to-day tech, the systems and devices. A CIO also facilitates collaboration between the C-suite, IT teams, and other stakeholders. A CIO speaks the language of tech and the language of business.

Of course a CTO must communicate between techies and businesspeople. But they have a strategic function, developing the tech initiatives that will drive growth and value. For example, they will oversee the development of custom software and apps.

Is CIO higher than a CTO?

For organizations with both a CIO and CTO, the CIO is normally senior. But the positions should be complementary, especially if a business is looking to grow. And while there will of course be overlap in terms of skillsets, they are two different positions, with different career paths.

Do you need both a CIO and a CTO?

If the business is large and complex, it is a very good idea to have both a CIO and a CTO. Just make sure that there is a crystal-clear delineation of duties so that both roles add value and have space to operate effectively.

The internal vs. external idea is a good place to start. Remember: it’s the CIO’s job to keep things moving along inside the company and to communicate between the techies and business units. The CTO looks forward, developing innovations for growth.

And it behooves the CEO to ensure smooth communication and cooperation between the positions so there is no confusion or duplication of work.

Comparing a CIO and a CTO

CIO: Chief
Information Officer

image/svg+xml

Internal
IT operations
Builds systems to supports growth
Supervises vendors of internal systems
Represents IT teams to the Board
Focus on improving systems and processes
Organized, skilled communicator and technologist
Click to learn What is the meaning of CIO.

CTO: Chief
Technology Officer

image/svg+xml

External
Ensures connection between tech and business goals
Supervises medium- to long-term initiatives, e.g. custom software and apps
Skilled communicator and technologist
Uses systems and digital to drive innovation and deliver value
Click to learn What is the meaning of CTO.

“Freeman Clarke provided a CIO to help us develop a roadmap for the future state of our IT systems, together with a strategic plan to help us get there. Our IT has always been a significant value driver in our business, and we need to ensure it stays that way.… [Our] Freeman Clarke CIO has not only helped us with creating that roadmap. He also became a key member of our senior leadership team.” – Chris Johnson, Chairman, JJS Manufacturing.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke CIOs and CTOs work on a “fractional,” or part-time model. This provides a business with first-class tech leadership without the full-time cost.

Our fractional tech leaders are uniquely suited to mid-market businesses. They have outstanding technical and strategic skills. They understand how to use tech to drive growth. And they are suited to the culture and reality of mid-market businesses.

Whatever the remit, our CIOs and CTOs operate from the fundamental idea of linking a business’s systems and digital strategy to business objectives. This should be the goal of every innovative, ambitious mid-market company because it’s one of the best ways to create real, sustainable growth.

To find out more about how we could add value to your business, Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

What is a Project Management Consultant?

A project management consultant is an expert project manager from outside an organization who manages or oversees a project or contributes to its management or oversight. 

A project management consultant makes sense for mid-market businesses who are beginning a large project, as most of their people are already committed to other roles. And large projects may be rare, so the company lacks the necessary project management routines and structures.

A professional project management consultant will have the time and expertise to fill this gap. He or she will guide the project and introduce the processes necessary for its delivery. 

Project management consultants also bring their experience of different organizations and projects, and they can avoid getting drawn into routine work that eats up the regular staff’s time. 

What does a project management consultant do?

 

At its simplest, project manager consultants focus on four activities:

  1. Identifying the necessary work
  2. Identifying the necessary resources
  3. Ensuring resources are properly allocated to deliver the work
  4. Monitoring escalating issues and delivery.

These are important activities: large projects won’t succeed if they aren’t done properly. But crucially, these activities alone will not guarantee success

Why do projects fail or get “stuck”?

 

It is a well-established fact that most projects fail to deliver. In our experience, projects go awry because project managers don’t address the following crucial issues:

How do you find the right project management consultant?

 

The above points are leadership gaps, and project management consultants may not always fill them. In contrast, here are the key ways in which Freeman Clarke consultants ensure a successful project.

  1. Set clear business goals. The underlying business value of the project must be clear and accepted by all the stakeholders. Our role is to have the courage and drive to ensure this clarity is maintained until delivery.
  2. Embrace change. Delivering value often requires significant changes: for example, changes in organization, behavior, and/or processes. We take ownership of these changes and ensure they contribute to the success of the project. 
  3. Communicate issues or challenges. Project managers may not communicate issues or risks to leadership in ways that inspire positive action. This can happen even when there is ample progress reporting! We make sure that technical and non-technical people understand potential problems and take steps to resolve them.

To sum up: for most mid-market businesses, large internal projects are relatively rare, so they do not have the senior-level management skills available in-house. Project management consultants provide a solution, but they often leave a leadership gap. Freeman Clarke works with ambitious mid-market businesses to fill this gap and ensure that projects deliver the planned business objectives on time and on budget.

To find out more about how we could add value to your business, Contact Us or call 646 741 2170 and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients to use technology to beat their competition.

The Future of Work | Event

Virtual events can be tough. But we did well with this one!

On October 7th, we discussed the “Future of Work,” office space vs. remote work and fostering employee engagement.

Our experts, Craig Teahen, Regional Director for Freeman Clarke Manhattan, Rachel Drunkenmiller from Unmuted and Richard Sexton from Office Concierge, gave an excellent virtual workshop which can be seen here.

Richard Sexton – Office Concierge

Richard Sexton, MBE, is the Founder and CEO of Office Concierge, a commercial real estate advisory firm. Richard helps companies review their workspace needs and navigate the spectrum of solutions, from flexible to traditional, to ensure companies align the right blend of office space with their WFH policies.

Rachel Druckenmiller – Unmuted

Rachel Druckenmiller is on a mission to humanize the workplace by guiding leaders and their teams to be more resilient, connected and courageous. Through experiential and interactive keynotes, workshops and leadership training — virtually and in-person — Rachel activates what’s best in people and organizations.

Craig Teahen – Freeman Clarke

Craig Teahen is the Freeman Clarke Director for Manhattan. Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of fractional CIOs and CTOs. Expert IT leaders who can join organizations to oversee digital innovation, systems and infrastructure to drive business growth.

 

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

The Fast Tech Audit – join our next workshop

The Fast Tech Audit is an interactive, business-focused workshop that helps non-technical business leaders learn how technology can drive your company forwards.

 

The Fast Tech Audit

Freeman Clarke invests invaluable time with ambitious mid-market entrepreneurs to guide and support them. These sessions are also a great way to build connections with peers in your region.

If you would like to know more about the Fast Tech Audit or want to sign up for one of these free interactive sessions, please complete the form below and we will be in touch.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

How Do I Prepare My Business for the Coronavirus?

As the CEO of a growing business, you likely spend most of your time thinking about your products, customers, and staff, as well as how to keep growth on track.

But soon enough, you may have a new priority – how to keep your business running when threatened by coronavirus.

We certainly don’t believe that the end of the world is near. But we do see the possibility of disruption due to illness or quarantine. You may have employees looking after sick relatives, or school closings to limit infection risks.

(For up-to-date coronavirus information and guidelines, see this link from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

The good news is that there is a relatively simple way to prepare your business for disruption – telecommuting (or home-working), meaning providing your employees with the flexibility and equipment they need to work remotely.

Preparing your business and staff for remote work provides a robust means to handle health scares, as well as most other disaster scenarios like power failures, bad weather, or public transport problems.

As an example, a long-standing Freeman Clarke client provides a 24/7 business-critical service. They can’t afford an outage, so they have spent a lot of time and money preparing for emergencies, including ensuring they can deliver their service uninterrupted with everyone working from home. They’ve tested it and it works.

Emergencies aside, enabling your staff to work remotely is a great way to attract and retain the best talent. Many businesses employ “knowledge workers” who can function effectively from home or the coffee shop with management, processes, and facilities set up accordingly.

Planning for remote work in the event of coronavirus goes beyond prudence. It’s a step in the right direction for your business.

How to Get Started

The good news is that even if you’re considering this scenario for the first time, it’s not too late. Our advice is to gather the senior management team and ask two questions:

  1. Which members of your team are critical to the ongoing survival of the business? Also: who can cover a colleague’s job in case they’re not available?
  2. What processes are absolutely critical to running the business? These processes might include taking payments, getting product to your customers, answering customer calls, and so on.

You can then plan out how these critical people and processes could continue to work remotely.

The first focus should be on the people. Ensure all critical team members are properly equipped to work from anywhere. That mean at the very least a mobile phone, a laptop, and possibly a VPN (virtual private network).

Then work out the simple details, like ensuring that everyone has their colleagues’ cell numbers.

Finally, all your people should be confident with using voice (or video) conferencing so they can organize themselves without needing to be in the same place.

The next task is to review the highlighted critical processes and discuss whether they would work if you and your team were out of the office.

Don’t assume that everything has been digitized! Ask your critical staff to look over what’s currently only in paper files, notebooks, or Post-it notes. All this must be available to them online. Fortunately, these days the tech is inexpensive or even free, products like Trello, Teams, and even Whatsapp can be effective ways to support remote work, including exchanging documents.

Don’t forget documentation such as customer contact details need storing somewhere accessible, as do the tools people use, such as PIN pads.

Cloud-based services excel in these circumstances because all you need is an internet connection. System such as Office365 and online accounting systems such as Xero make planning for a disaster far easier. If your business has a lot of its processes based on servers in the office, this is a great opportunity to kick off a project to migrate to the cloud. Aside from protecting you from emergencies, it will ultimately be cheaper, more secure, and more flexible.

Don’t Wait for Disaster

You’ll need to invest time and money to make all this happen. Consider it insurance against disaster and an opportunity to make your business better.

We recommend that you immediately organize a senior management team to focus on the questions above. Don’t leave the room until you’ve agreed on the necessary actions, the owners and timescales for completion, and the follow-up. Consider having this meeting by video to get the ball rolling!

Visit our COVID-19 knowledge center, which have more useful content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke regularly helps businesses plan for emergency and growth. If you’d like to talk to us about how to make your technology more robust, feel free to get in touch. We’re always up for a chat.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Learning from Travelex

Due to a cyberattack, Travelex, the world’s largest foreign exchange bureau, has been paralyzed for weeks. The reputational and financial impact on the company and its senior leaders will be severe. New laws and regulations, like GDPR and NY Shield, mean that such breaches can no longer be swept under the carpet, and the business losses will be compounded by huge fines.

Travelex is a wake-up call to all businesses. In today’s cyber-risk environment, maintenance of your basic IT infrastructure and services is critical to remaining profitable and even staying alive. You may be concerned that if a giant like Travelex gets hacked, how can a mid-market company protect itself? It’s actually pretty straightforward.

When we engage with clients, we talk about “getting the basics right.” A fundamental part of that is making sure the IT infrastructure and services are fit-for-purpose and up to date. If the basics aren’t right, then there’s no hope of looking at ways to use technology to grow the business and get ahead of the competition.

To provide you with a head-start, here are your first nine priorities:

  1. Prioritize systems maintenance. All systems and services, particularly those that are connected to the outside world, must be kept up to date with the latest software patches. The IT team or your Service Provider must review and update systems in a regular, controlled manner.
  2. Review your backups. Many malware infections encrypt your data and hold it for ransom. Frequent backups mitigate the chance of you losing everything. A regular complete backup of data stored somewhere with no connection to your systems – what’s called an air-gap – will greatly limit the damage of an attack.
  3. Get a penetration test. Get a reputable security company to undertake an external penetration test of your systems and services. Resolve all the concerns raised in the results. Find your vulnerabilities and patch them before hackers find them for you!
  4. Get certified. Spend some money, usually less than $12k on earning the Cyber Essentials Plus certification. The process involves making your technology secure, and we’ve seen clients win new business after being certified.
  5. Lock down your data. Each individual in your business should only have access to the data they need to do their job. This minimizes the risk of data loss should they leave with it or accidentally click a malware link. Allowing employees wide-ranging access to data is asking for trouble.
  6. Invest in protection. Keep the bad guys out with well-configured firewalls, anti-spam email systems, malware detection software, and pro-active Day-0 protection systems.
  7. Get some insurance. Cyber insurance covers the losses resulting from a cyberattack. It can also aid with the management of the incident itself, particularly reputational damage and regulatory enforcement. Crime insurance covers the loss of money due to theft, fraud or dishonesty and includes theft of money by hackers. Add cyber insurance and crime insurance to your portfolio as separate policies, not just add-ons to existing business insurance.
  8. Train your staff. Your employees are the most vulnerable security point in your business. The more they know what to look for and what to do, the better your chances of avoiding an attack. Training is essential for all new staff, and it needs regular refreshing for the whole business – including you!
  9. Plan for the worst. Even with all the above nailed down, you still need to be ready for the worst. Sit down with your top team and discuss potential disasters and plan your way out of them. Who would be in charge? Who is authorised to make major decisions on the spot?

Will Travelex survive this attack? Who knows – the reputational and financial damage may be terminal. But by following these nine steps, you can avoid that fate for your own company.

For more information see our Knowledge Center about Cybersecurity.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations, and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

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Graeme Freeman
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Thank you.

You’ll now receive regular expert business insights.

Call us on 0203 020 1864 with any questions.