Definition

fractional CIO

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Careers in information technology: A CIO guide to getting ahead in IT

A fractional Chief Information Officer (fractional CIO) is a high-level consultant who specializes in aligning information technology (IT) with business goals.

A fractional CIO may also be known as a virtual CIO or part-time CIO. Quite simply, a fractional CIO works for a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire a full-time executive to fill the post. This can be a cost-effective solution for businesses that are in need of expert advice, but cannot afford the salary and benefits it would take to hire another C-level executive. 

Most fractional CIOs work with several organizations at the same time. Services a fractional CIO might be contracted to supply include mentoring services, vendor management and dealing with compliance burdens.

This was last updated in July 2013

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