What does a Fractional CIO do?

CIO stands for ‘Chief Information Officer.’ It’s a Board-level position responsible for technology, staff, and suppliers. CIOs also oversee systems, processes, and data reporting. The term ‘fractional’ in ‘fractional CIO’ simply means ‘part-time’ (ie they work for a portfolio of 2 or 3 other companies)

Nevertheless, a fractional CIO has a transformational role. In addition to technology delivery, they focus on:

  • Actively contributing to Board discussions
  • Aligning IT to the business strategy
  • Driving transformational projects such as integration, automation, and ERP
  • Business improvements
  • Cybersecurity and risk management

Why should your business have a Fractional CIO?

CIOs command high salaries due to their decades of expertise in IT and technology. A fractional CIO means that your business gets the support and innovation it needs at a competitive, sustainable price. In addition, they bring in external skills, experiences and different perspectives that internal staff rarely see.

Freeman Clarke CIOs align IT solutions to business objectives, ensuring focus and cooperation across teams and departments. In addition, our CIOs are expert strategic thinkers, guiding your business through all the necessary changes to meet well-defined commercial goals.

Due to our stringent standards, only 1% of our initial candidates become part of our team. So you can be confident that your fractional CIO has the highest technical and commercial expertise, adding benefit to your business from Day One.

What does a Fractional CIO do and how can they help your business?

Fractional CIOs ensure that the IT and technology of your business support your goals. They ensure that systems are well-integrated and that processes are efficient. Fractional CIOs take ownership of the day-to-day IT and technology, including risk management and cyber security.

Fractional CIOs will also drive transformational projects, such as automation or a new ERP system, or a complete digital transformation.

The overall goal is to create an IT and technology environment that is flexible and adaptable and provides a platform for growth. A fractional CIO will also lead teams through the inevitable business challenges and strategic obstacles — our CIOs have guided businesses through extremely challenging transformational events like COVID-19 and Brexit.

Fractional CIOs are accountable for technology, teams and suppliers

Fractional CIOs have a crucial role in a business in that they have ownership of virtually every aspect of its IT and technology, including hardware and software and how staff uses the technology. They supervise the technology-related teams, taking responsibility for day-to-day operations as well as the delivery of longer-term projects.

An important part of the fractional CIO’s role is that they are accountable for suppliers. They foster sound, productive long-term relationships and ensure that all contracts and deliverables make sense for the business and will renegotiate or replace suppliers when necessary.

Fractional CIOs drive integration, automation and transformational projects including ERP and online

A fractional CIO’s role should be transformational. Their impact should be felt positively throughout the business. The transformation could simply be a matter of making improvements in existing technology, such as improving integration — ensuring that systems communicate with a minimum of problems. Another way to make an impact is through automation: a fractional CIO will see where automation is possible and if it makes sense for the company.

A fractional CIO is responsible for larger transformational projects as well, including an ERP if needed, or when necessary deep changes and upgrades to digital platforms. This will often require changes to process, organisation and culture, and a fractional CIO will take a leading role in these changes.

Fractional CIOs align IT with business strategy

Fractional CIOs are responsible for aligning the IT to the business strategy. This may mean helping to clarify the business goals first before making changes to IT and technology. Once the goals are clear, the CIO’s role is to help the business achieve its commercial goals, so they will make all IT decisions in that light.

Fractional CIOs improve systems and digital usage within a business, transforming profits

A fractional CIO looks to make improvements in how staff uses the systems and indeed all the technology. For example, systems may actually be working well, but employees have never been properly trained in their usage, leading to wasted time and money. A fractional CIO takes a hard look at how staff interacts with technology in order to exploit it to the fullest.

‘Freeman Clarke have made IT a strategic enabler, aligned with our business strategy. Our systems now provide much greater support for our staff, reducing wasted time, costs, and problems. The culture and practices within our IT team have changed radically, and they are now a critical contributor to our success.’ Mike Yiannis, Hydrock’s Chief Financial Officer, Hydrock.

For more non-technical advice, visit our Technology Roadmap for Growth Knowledge Centre, which includes all content related to this topic.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT directors, CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with SME and mid-market organisations, and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.