The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

How a Virtual CIO (VCIO) Can Help DC Small Businesses Budget Better

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Thu, May 05, 2016

Most businesses spend about 6-8% of revenue on technology-related expenses. I'm quite familiar with this statistic because, as the chief information officer (CIO) here at Meridian, or VP of Technology as I’m officially known, I am constantly involved in both technology and finance.

It's vital I see to it that my company utilizes the best technology that it can:

  1. afford to purchase, use and maintain
  2. leverage to improve its ability to pursue its core mission and meet goals
  3. increase the bottom line and generate revenue

A virtual chief information officer (VCIO), at least ones like we provide here at Meridian for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs), has the same set of responsibilities. Read on to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a traditional CIO vs VCIO, as well as how they help businesses create and stick to a predictable technology budget.

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Top 5 Ways VCIO Services Benefit Small and Midsize Businesses in DC

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Mar 08, 2016

In large enterprises, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has the responsibility of applying appropriate technology to help the company achieve its business objectives. Many small- to mid-sized companies cannot afford the expense of a full-time CIO, which can range upwards of $150,000 – $250,000+ per year in the DC market.

Read on to learn about these 5 VCIO benefits for SMBs:

  1. Predictable technology budgets 
  2. Decreased operating costs and improved productivity 
  3. Analyzes and reports findings and recommendations 
  4. Security, business continuity, disaster recovery, and compliance 
  5. Revenue 
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The Top 5 Most Popular Office Technology Blog Posts of 2015

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Jan 05, 2016

As we spring into the New Year, one of the best ways to ring in 2016 is to recap a few of the most popular posts published on our blog in the previous year. 2015 brought many successes and steady growth for the Meridian family. We showcased everything from ways small to midsized businesses can benefit from vCIO services, techniques that allow your business to “go green” to ensure environmental sustainability, along with a host of other blogs, which gave comprehensive access to information that could benefit you and your organization.

Most of our blog posts are aimed at answering questions we commonly hear from clients and prospects. Read on to take a look at the five most popular blog posts of 2015 — you may just find some answers to questions you've been wondering about, or ones you haven't even thought of yet!

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Top 3 Reasons DC Businesses Should Adopt Hybrid IT

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Jul 07, 2015

Hybrid IT isn't just a growing trend — it's a complete shift in the way that we view IT, it's here to stay, and it can help your business succeed.

According to an IT trends study by The Society for Information Management (SIM), 27% of organizations had moved to a hybrid approach to IT organization and management by 2013 — a steady increase from the 15% of organizations who reported that they had hybrid IT in 2005.

Meanwhile, there is a steady decrease in centralized IT, from 74% of organizations having centralized IT in 2005, to 65% of organizations reporting a centralized approach for IT management in 2013. 

So what is Hybrid IT?

Put simply, Hybrid IT refers to an environment where elements of the IT infrastructure and applications are administered or maintained through multiple sources. This method of combining internal and external IT services is revolutionizing the roles of IT, but it is not necessarily brand new.

Read on for info on how businesses are already using Hybrid IT, as well as these top 3 reasons DC businesses should adopt it:

  1. Need to maintain control of data
  2. Benefits of having the right resources, when you need them and at a lower cost
  3. Desire for IT departments to respond quickly to changing business needs
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Technology Issues a Top Priority for SMBs

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Thu, May 07, 2015

Working with small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) on a regular basis, I knew there were a lot of them, but I didn’t know how many until I recently read a fascinating report by CompTIAEnabling SMBs with Technology. Of the approximately six million total U.S. employer firms, 99.7% are SMBs (defined by The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) as a business with fewer than 500 employees).

Now, that doesn’t mean that practically all of us work for small businesses. Large enterprises, though smaller in number, employ the majority (51.5%) of private sector workers, but SMBs are a close second employing 48.5%. SMBs also pay 42% of the total U.S. private payroll, and have generated a whopping 63% of net new jobs over the past 15 years.

That last statistic really got my attention. The last 15 years have seen some quantum leaps in technology, especially enterprise IT. Mobility, cloud computing, digital documenting and data storage, telecommuting, video conferencing, social networking, just to name a few changes, were either non-existent or in their infancy 15 years ago. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that technology and new jobs, generated by SMBs, have grown together in the same period.

Given all that change and the prevalence of the American SMB, it's not surprising that technology issues rank among their top priorities. Read on to learn more about the specific technology issues and challenges they face, and about technology's changing role in today's SMB.

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3 IT Imperatives for SMBS

Trent Edwards

Posted by Trent Edwards
Thu, Apr 30, 2015

As VP of Technology for a managed services provider (MSP), I work with a lot of small-to-midsized businesses (SMB) who are looking to streamline their business operations via technology. For most SMBs, having a C level technology officer on staff, such as a chief technology officer (CTO) or a chief information officer (CIO), is beyond their operating budgets. Many cannot even afford a dedicated IT department.

Yet, the modern business runs on technology, and small businesses have many of the same IT needs as large enterprises. The solution to this lack of technology dilemma can be found in, you guessed it, technology. By partnering with the right MSP, small businesses can have access to most, if not all, of the IT tools available to large organizations. One of my favorites is the virtual chief information officer (VCIO). By leveraging the VCIO service, businesses of any size can have an experienced resource available to provide strategic IT analysis and management, without the cost of a full time CIO.

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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