ClearTone Consulting provides virtual or fractional CIO services to the small and medium sized business community. Below is our recent interview with Brian Scott, President at ClearTone Consulting:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to ClearTone Consulting?
A: A virtual CIO provides unbiased, trusted advisement to business leaders to help them navigate the complexities of Information Technology, minimize costs, maximize ROI, secure assets, and most importantly, develop strategies that will enable them to surpass their competition. A virtual CIO assists in developing strategic plans, evaluating technology, securing digital assets, analyzing costs and benefits, building effective teams, and helping businesses leverage technology to help grow the bottom line. ClearTone Consulting is Brian Scott. Brian has 30 years of technology industry experience and 18 years of CIO experience. His expertise includes technology areas such as software development, product management, networking and infrastructure, data center operations, cloud platforms, cybersecurity, and technology strategy development and execution. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a MS in Technology Management from University of Maryland Global Campus. He is currently a Director of the Board of Directors for IAEE, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. He is a patent holder and an enthusiast for the application of technology to make businesses grow.
Q: What are main benefits for your clients?
A: In today’s dynamic and competitive business environment, technology has become a cornerstone of all areas of the business regardless of the size of the business. To paraphrase Rupert Murdoch, whereas it used to be that big would beat small, today fast beats slow. In order for businesses to differentiate themselves and succeed, it’s imperative that they have a sound technology strategy underpinning their business objectives. A vCIO starts with helping business create and refine their technology strategy and roadmap. From there, a vCIO is a key driver in helping organizations understand the criticality of embracing change and becoming a change-focused company. Clients utilizing virtual CIO services can also utilize their expertise to ensure their cybersecurity position is adequate given analysis of their digital asset classification and risk profile. The costs of cybersecurity continues to grow and is a very complex challenge. It’s imperative to leverage an experienced technology leader to navigate the myriad of options to maximize protection while minimizing costs and resource time.
Q: What’s the best thing about ClearTone Consulting that people might not know about?
A: We all know that there is a reason that stereotypes develop. It’s because they usually have some truth to them. One stereotype of the technology specialist is that they are a geek, only speak “tech-talk”, and don’t approach the application of technology from a business perspective. In short, they love technology for the sake of technology. It can be a rare discovery to find a person that has a balanced capability of talking and thinking both as a business person and a technologist – a tech specialist that can communicate effectively and efficiently both up and down the hierarchy, as well as inside and outside the technology team, with equal success. This ability is unique yet critical need if a leader is going to be effective in helping an organization meet it’s objectives. I believe it is exactly these qualities in which I excel.
Q: What are your plans?
A: My plans are to continually reach out to the SMB business community regionally around the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia areas to find businesses that are ready to leverage technology as a competitive driver to their business growth. I plan to create long-term relationships with these organizations and help support their growth path until they are at a point that they need a full-time CIO on their staff.
Q: Can you explain how vCIO can help?
A: In addition to the aforementioned information on the value and role of a vCIO, here are nine bulleted value points that a vCIO brings to businesses.
1. Help define and drive strategic priorities, key initiatives, and measure effectiveness and ROI
2. Provide methods and processes to drive change
3. Evaluate security and privacy maturity and measure business risk
4. Offer insight and direction on regulatory and compliance matters
5. Evaluate current team skills for business alignment
6. Manage day to day technology direction and team
7. Build an effective IT and/or product development team
8. Evaluate and support strategic vendor relationships
9. Evaluate and develop a technology budget that supports business objectives