All kinds of organizations—Fortune 500s, startups, and associations—are hiring fractional executives. Fractional CIOs, CMOs, COOs, and even CEOs split their time across multiple client organizations. You get their expertise for a fraction of their time—and a fraction of what you’d pay a full-time executive. Fractional executives are consultants who don’t just tell you what to do; they help you get it done.
Reasons for the Growing Demand for Fractional Executives
The use of fractional executives took off after the 2008 recession. Many out-of-work executives turned to contract work or freelancing due to a weakened job market, often remotely. The fractional model was an attractive option for experienced executives looking for a mix of interesting projects.
The rise of the fractional executive model also coincided with a talent shortage. In many industries, there are not enough experienced, yet innovative, CIOs for all the organizations that need them.
In our constantly changing environment, associations are looking for C-level talent who can spark a strategic reset and get things moving in the right direction. Fractional CIOs bring associations the high-level expertise and experience they seek without the need to budget for a C-suite salary and benefits package.
How a Fractional CIO Works with Associations
Fractional CIOs are available on a contract basis for a specific number of hours over a period of time, for example, 6 to 20 hours per week for 6 to 12 months. The terms of engagement are based on your organization’s needs, goals, and budget.
The fractional CIO’s purpose is to help your association effectively leverage technology to fulfill your mission and objectives and deliver value to members, customers, staff, and other stakeholders. After performing a technology assessment, the fractional CIO develops a technology plan aligned with organizational goals and strategies. They prioritize strategic and operational initiatives, and create action plans, processes, and procedures.
The fractional CIO collaborates with business departments on technology initiatives. For example, they manage and/or provide insight on the planning, selection, development, and implementation of technology, such as association management systems, learning management systems, financial management systems, content management systems, and marketing automation software.
The fractional CIO oversees IT risk management, including data security. They manage relationships with technology vendors. They lead the IT team and coach emerging IT leaders.
9 Signs You Need a Fractional CIO
Your association will benefit from fractional CIO services if any of these scenarios hit close to home.
- Due to the economic impact of the pandemic, you’ve had to lay off staff, schedule regular furloughs, or institute a hiring freeze. You can no longer budget for a high-level IT position, but you sorely lack IT leadership.
- Your association wants to create and redesign programs, products, and services, but you’re unable to shift gears quickly enough because you don’t have a technology leader to help drive and support these efforts.
- Your IT staff doesn’t have the expertise and experience to help your association navigate and succeed in these uncertain conditions. The need for strategic IT leadership during times of change is becoming apparent.
- IT has never had a seat at your leadership table. Consequently, you are missing the knowledge and perspective that a technology leader can provide.
- Your association does not have a strategic technology plan or project prioritization plan.
- You lack cohesion between systems and an understanding of how these systems advance business objectives.
- Technology projects are exceeding their budgets and timelines.
- Staff uses workarounds and ignores nagging IT issues. As a result, your association is taking on technical debt and experiencing too many unwelcome, costly technology surprises.
- Your association wants to be perceived as “innovative” in your industry, but you’re not sure
Fractional CIOs are focused on your association’s success. They arrive ready to solve problems, leverage opportunities, improve performance, and move your association forward.
If you are interested in hiring a Fractional CIO or want to learn more about how a Fractional CIO can benefit your organization, contact us today.