In a world where your brand new phone is outdated as soon as you get it home and your laptop needs a new update as soon as you finish loading the last one, how are you ever supposed to know how to stay on top of the ever-progressing IT market?

Let’s say you even somehow manage to finally figure out what you want amidst all this technology craziness.  Once you order it and it arrives, where do you put it?  How do you set it up?  How do you maintain it?  By the time you figure all this out, the next version of what you just purchased is ready for release.  Here we go again!

2012 looks to be no less mystifying of a year when it comes to this fog of IT, so what must savvy business owners do to ensure their businesses don’t lose traction because of antiquated technology?

As a business owner, your time is already at a premium.  You have a successful company to run, employees to manage, fires to put out, and the last thing you have time for is figuring out servers, backups, networks, machines, software, etc., etc.  So, then, where do you turn?  To whom can you entrust these critical business decisions?

A Virtual CIO is the answer.

When you don’t have the answers, a Virtual CIO will step in and guide you through the technology you need, the technology you really do want, and the proactive approaches you should take to ensure that you do not get lost or left behind in the IT whirlwind.

Technology You NEED — Your Virtual CIO Guide will consult with you to determine exactly what your business needs are and what technology will best meet those needs.  You may currently have too much or too little, and a careful evaluation of your existing resources will be conducted to determine if you need to expand or reduce your current technology investments.  You want to be careful, though, to entrust this to someone who truly has your best interests in mind and is not just trying to sell you as much as possible to make an extra buck.

Technology You Want, Really — Admittedly there is some pretty cool technology out there now!  It is easy for anyone to be seduced by all the neat tricks and impressive functionality available at your fingertips.  Knowing this, sometimes what you want and what you should want are very different.  It is your Virtual CIO’s job as your IT Guide to listen to what you like or what you think would be fun and to let you know honestly if that technology is right for you and your business.  Oftentimes, the trendy technology is not the wisest investment for your company (or personal) resources, and your Guide will be your conscience when it comes to those decisions.

Avoiding the Technology Potholes — Many of the latest, coolest, and seemingly most useful technologies can create big problems.  There are many ways to apply technology, but each one has its limitations.  And the limitations when comparing different technologies are not always apparent until after decisions are made.  A virtual CIO can help frame the limits of technologies before they are implemented to better align the business goals without the potholes.

Technology Lookout — More than just being a guide, your Virtual CIO is responsible for being your lookout, keeping you updated on the latest technology beneficial to your company or the latest problems that may be about to negatively impact you.  Taking a proactive approach (as opposed to the traditional reactive) to protecting your IT resources and investments will prove immensely valuable to your company.   Imagine having a true partner with you through the journey, rather than someone just trying to stick you with another fee whenever they can!

Whether or not you’re ready to sign on the dotted line or not, consider taking advantage of the help of a Virtual CIO to get you through the IT fog of 2012.  You will very quickly see the benefits and be happy you decided to jump on board!